“Will run for beer”
Ever hear this saying or something similar before?
I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Particularly, how I don’t agree with it.
You see, I began exercising on the regular when I set out to lose 30 lbs four years ago. I counted calories to lose weight, so for a long time exercise was purely a way to burn calories. It gave me a little more wiggle room in my daily calorie allotment and made it so I didn’t lose my mind restricting food in order to shed a few pounds.
As the days went on, I fell more and more in love with exercise. I eventually started doing it because I like it, and not just as a way to lose weight. As I transitioned into weight loss maintenance, exercise not only became my most loved hobby, but also a way to splurge on some of my most favourite treats. Run 6 miles? Awesome, now I get to have dessert today. All without putting on a pound.
But now that I’m a little more separated from the situation, I wonder – is it healthy to use exercise as a justification to eat?
If you were to ask me today, my response would sway towards “no.”
Food and exercise are two very different things and serve two very different purposes. But mostly, I think by creating a relationship between the two, one is setting themselves up to have an unhealthy relationship with both.
I have gained at least 10 lbs since beginning chemotherapy, for a number of reasons. I’m not as active as I used to be (read: no 6 milers here), my eating habits have changed (read: digesting a big salad on chemo is tummy torture) and my most favourite excuse – I’m on steroids, I can’t help it! (same goes with the occasional ‘roid rage)
If I weren’t sick and gained 10 lbs I would immediately turn to exercise to start burning it off. Except this time around I really don’t care about the extra weight. Apart from the frustration of having jeans that don’t fit, I’ve got bigger fish to fry. Like a life threatening illness. Suddenly, the idea of vanity weight goes out the window.
With that said, I do still mildly exercise every day. But this time it’s not to lose weight or to keep it off. This time it’s for a different reason altogether. I now realize it’s the reason why I should have been exercising all along. For my health. Study after study shows that cancer patients have a higher rate of survival with exercise. When I hop on the recumbent bike, it’s not with the idea of burning off the ice cream I ate earlier, or for some notion of vanity. It’s for my health, my real health, and my longevity.
When I’m all better and back at the gym, I won’t reward myself with a beer after because I’ve got the extra calories to do it. I’ll drink beer whenever I want and exercise because it’s good for me.
Today is chemo day – treatment #6. I’m halfway through!
I also got some great suggestions for extra sources of fat: coconut, hummus, flax oil, fish oil supplements and low or full fat dairy (like yogurt). Today mayonnaise magically occurred to me. Leah also suggested Mexican food, which made me laugh. She’d know though – her doctor put her on a 100g of fat a day diet!
I also got some helpful comments about my skin. Some people noted it could be related to food allergies (although, I have been tested for gluten and lactose allergies and I’m clear there) and sleep! Hmm… verrrrry interesting you guys. I will keep you updated on how all of this goes. And yes mom, I am putting the calamine cream on it every night :)
Okay! It’s Wednesday! Which means it’s time for some obligatory Waffle Wednesday waffle porn!
I used my protein pancake recipe and added some frozen blueberries and ground flax. I maaaay have strategically planned today as my day off from the gym so I could make waffles ;)
Banana + Naturally More almond butter for my morning snack.
Afternoon snack attack:
Yoplait Source muesli yogurt cup and roasted almonds. I’m not the biggest fan of flavoured yogurts, but I love these yogurt cups. They’re almost a vice for me.
Dinner was quick n’ easy – leftovers!
Spinach and Ham Ricotta Pie with some steamed brussels sprouts and broccoli on the side. Once again, my eyes were larger than my stomach and I served myself too much. I ended up not eating one of those pieces of pie. I always overload my plate, then feel like I have to finish it all off. Not a good combo to have!
Now, the real blogworthy event here. One of the best evening snacks I’ve had in a while.
Sweet potato spiced protein cake.
- 1 scoop (30g) vanilla protein powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp splenda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- dash pumpkin spice
- 2 tbsp sweet potato
- 2 tbsp egg whites
- 1 tbsp raisins
All stirred up in a mug and nuked for 90 seconds in the microwave. The “icing” is just 1 tbsp peanut butter whisked with a teeeeny bit of almond milk and vanilla extract to fluff it up a little.
Oh. Em. Gee. This was uh-mazing. First, the texture!! It was the best texture I’ve achieved with a protein cake yet. I think it’s because I doubled the protein powder,which made it more “cake-y” and less “sponge-y.” And how can anything doused in cinnamon and peanut butter not be delicious? Exactly :)
Today’s fat intake: 54g, or 31% of macronutrients. Don’t worry, I won’t be pointing this out everyday. I’ve just been counting my calories these past few days so it’s easy to grab the info!
Yes, I am counting calories. I am still incredibly unhappy with my weight gain, as I touched upon in this post. A weight gain that I blame on goodies such as those seen in this post. I’ve confirmed the extra belly pudge by taking my measurements, so my eyes aren’t just deceiving me when I look in the mirror. ‘Tis the tale of maintaining weight loss – it’s always going up and down and never staying the same. Thankfully, it’s at least no longer going up ;)
Oh, and for those of you that are interested, I tried out Spark People and didn’t care for it. So I went back to ole faithful The Daily Plate/Livestrong. They have a “New MyPlate” option for tracking which I lovelovelove. Much easier.
Okay bloggie friends, that wraps it up for tonight. See ya tomorrow for some more fat, a cardio sesh, and a more serious topic that I think many of you will be able to relate with. See ya then!
Thanks again for all the bee-day wishes! I had a wonderful day yesterday. Now I’m just preparing myself for a very busy week ahead at work!! I have a few more 10+ hour work days ahead of me :\
I did at least continue the celebration for breakfast.
- 1 packet multi grain instant oats
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 sliced banana
- 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
- 1 tbsp peanut butter (it’s national PB day after all!)
- mini marshmallows
- sprinkles!! Just for you Deb ;)
And then I had a piece of beet cake as my pre-workout snack. Totally powdered me through a tough one!
This particular treadmill workout is getting easier!! Yay!! Improvement! :D
L-O-V-E-D this. Will definitely be added to my new Fitness Page (which is still a major work in progress – lots of updates to come!).
I find long cardio workouts at the gym are a lot more fun when I only have to do 10-20 minutes on each machine. Makes it fly by! I also work at a higher intensity because I keep switching to different things. Definitely helped that my mommy came with me too :D However, at the end of the elliptical session, we saw someone fall off a treadmill!! Holy scary. If you ever feel like you’re falling off a treadmill, just let yourself go. Trying to hold yourself on only worsens the situation :\
My tummy was yelling at me by the end of this workout, so I fed it right away.
Laughing cow, roast chicken, tuna, onion, tomato and romaine on a pita. They chicken/tuna combo was delicious!
Shortly afterward it was time to make the boring drive home. I kept awake by singing along to CDs at the top of my lungs. This song in particular got a few encores.
No groceries at home, luckily I had some goodies stashed in the freezer.
Ketchup with a side of turkey mini-meatloaves and butternut squash fries.
Liz – I let the fries sit with sea salt for a few minutes, then squeezed the moisture out a second time – totally worked!! Made for a much sturdier b-nut fry :D Thanks for the suggestion!!
Time to get Serious
Okay guys, I’m gonna be straight up with you. I’m still struggling to lose the few pounds I gained over Christmas. Not the end of the world. But, I’m a little bigger than my “happy weight.” My snacking has been a little off the charts. I don’t photograph everything I eat, and that includes the multiple handfuls of chocolate chips and cereal (among other things) I eat at night.
I’ve struggled a lot over these past two months to find an eating and exercise routine that worked through TWO job changes. Yes, I’m on my third job in less than two months. I’ve worked inconsistent hours at differing activity levels over the past eight weeks, it’s messed with my body and food routine immensely. On the bright side, I’ll be in a stable job for these next three months and I’ll finally be able to get into a routine with it.
So what does this mean? No, I’m not making silly self-imposed rules. I’m not doing boot camp or giving up sugar (the horror!!). But, I will be counting calories again. Maybe not every single day, and not religiously. But I like the accountability it gives me with snacking. I know there’s varying opinions on this, but I know what works for me :)
I also want to keep track of my foods so I can look at my day and see where I’m not eating whole, “clean” foods. I exercise tons, but I realize my body composition issues are diet related. I just need to polish it up a tad and I should be able to see and most importantly feel a difference.
Part of this is because my birthday is now behind me, so I have no more big “splurge” days on the horizon. The biggest part however, is that I’m going to be a personal trainer in three months, and I want to look the part. I don’t expect to have the bod of Jillian Michaels. But I’d like to lose a little body fat and actually “bulk” my upper-body (my limbs are quite scrawny). The way I see it, you wouldn’t get your hair cut by a hairstylist with bad hair, so why listen to a trainer with a pudgy tummy?
As always, I’ll keep you updated on how I’m doing with this. There will still be marshmallows, just not every day ;) I feel best when I go back to basics with my food. And I want to start experimenting more with my exercise! I want to get a little more serious with my weight lifting, and try to incorporate more plyometrics. Hopefully there will be tons of new workouts popping up over the next several weeks :)
Question of the Day: Do you or have you worked with a personal trainer? What was your experience like? I’ve actually never worked with a trainer before. Mostly because I like learning the stuff myself and choosing what I want to do. But it will be interesting to job shadow with one in the coming months!