Saturday, June 8, 2013

Vacation Re-vamp

Note to self: Do not ever, under any circumstances, discuss upcoming beach vacation with your trainer.  (Unless, of course, you've been plateaued for weeks and you actually want to lose weight.)  But definitely don't expect that you can talk to him and do vacation as you've always done it.  "I know you're going to want to drink", He-who-trains said. "Yes, and your point would be? It's the beach. It's a week without responsibilities.  Everyone else will be.  It's the BEACH, for crying outloud." That's what I thought.  What I said was, "Probably so."  Which, of course, led He-who-trains to say, "You can have a light beer. Or two ounces of a blush wine, before or with dinner.  No fruity drinks." First of all, I can't politely express my feelings over beer-- and I cannot imagine that making it "light" would improve its taste any.  I'm cool with the wine part, but does he know exactly how much two ounces isn't?  But seriously, No fruity drinks?? Now, I'm not a girly-girl by any stretch of the imagination-- and  I like a good old man drink (Jack and Coke, White Russian, etc) as much as the next non girly-girl.  But I love a good, brightly colored, multi-alcoholed, umbrella bearing, fruity drink the size of my face.  Not for the alcohol content-- I'm getting too old to find feeling like crap appealing-- but I like the taste-- and the exoticness-- and the way it makes me long to put my toes in the sand.

I tried to suck it up.  I told He-who-trains that I could follow his stingy alcohol policies.  But the more I thought about it, the more I knew I'd be tempted if I didn't come  up with a reasonable alternative. So I did some research. First I looked at drinks I might actually order.  For a 3oz (and let's be honest, drinks the size of my face are probably not 3 ounces...) Rum Runner, there are 140 calories and 36 grams of carbohydrates. (Meaning the at least twelve ounces that I've probably actually drunk in one sitting comes in at 560 calories and 144 grams of carbohydrates.  That's a little over a third of my daily calories, and almost 1.5 times my daily allotment of carbohydrates.)  Ok, so at least I can understand the "No Fruity Drinks" decree.  And wow--how many times have I ordered the drink without knowing how bad it was?  Shudder.

Ok, so I thought maybe I could do a girl beer-- which has another less polite name.  But we're talking Mike's Hard Lemonade or Seagrams coolers or Smirnoff Ice or something.  I found a Smirnoff Peach Belini cooler that looked pretty good.  But alas. One bottle has 220 calories and 36 grams of carbohydrates. I could actually eat two whole delightfully delicious Reese's cups (the regular size ones, NOT the minis!)  for less than that, plus with the Reese's I'd get some protein.

I tried the Daily's "Alcohol is in it. Just freeze and squeeze" pouches, which look lovely and fruity and come in wonderful flavors like "Blue Hawaiian." I almost bought every flavor they had.  They're kind of like Capri Sun for grownups-- and bonus for the packaging that lets you take them even into "No glass allowed" territory like pools and beaches.  In one pouch-- a serving-- there are as much as 280 calories and around 50 grams of carbohydrates.  Ok. No Dice.

But desperate times call for desperate measures. I headed to the local ABC store as I remembered the new "Skinny Girl" alcohol that all the girl mags rave about.  I saw "Skinny Girl Mojito" and since I love Mojitos in the summer, that seemed like a good bet. A 1.5 oz serving has only 32 calories and 2 grams of carbohydrates. Best I can tell, a traditional mojito contains anywhere from 170-230 calories.  And of course, I don't make them with club soda. (BLECH!) So to add (I'm guessing) 4 oz of Ginger Ale adds at least another 40 calories, and 32 grams of carbohydrates.

So, I grabbed some mint out of my yard, and added it to the Skinny Girl mojito, and then added two ounces of diet ginger ale... and voila! A 32 calorie, zero carbohydrate icy glass of heaven.  Or at least a workable compromise.  Is it as good as a "real" mojito? No. But I can have some fun and not worry that I'll sabotage myself by drinking my calories.

Of course, that only handles one of He-who-trains vacation decrees.  When I explained to him that we eat pancakes every day (and this is probably the only time of year I eat them, but wow I look forward to them), he "compromised".  On ONE day, I could have (2) 2in pancakes.  He clearly didn't understand the family love of pancakes.  We've kicked people out of the family for not eating pancakes.  No really.
So.  Next challenge:  Find a workable, non cardboard tasting, low-carb option for pancakes.  But who am I kidding? Pancakes are really just an excuse to eat peanut butter.  And I can do that with a spoon!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Taking it to the next level

He-who-trains is to trying to kill me. Again.

Of course, I'm grateful, because I know he is trying to help me break out of this (nasty, awful, growl-inducing, whine worthy) plateau.  This latest "Force-Kim's-body-to-quit-pitching-a-tempter-tantrum" program involves two days of a whole-body workout, which is considerably amped up from the one or two muscle group workouts I was doing. But that's not the most fun part of my gym week. Because for the other three days, I'm on the bike.  The idea of sitting on my butt and having some time to think sounded lovely, but of course that's not what He-who-trains had in mind.  So it's thirty seconds of a hard sprint, and a minute of soft pedal recovery, for twenty cycles. I was pretty excited when he first told me about it, because hey! You can do anything for thirty seconds, right? And besides, it sounded a lot easier than the four minute sprints and two minutes of recovery that I've done for forty-five minutes. Or three minute sprints and two minute recovery that I'd do for ninety minutes. But let me be honest. When you're only sprinting for thirty seconds, you're supposed to be able to exert a lot more power and speed.  That thirty seconds, short though it sounds, is probably the closest thing to hell I've ever experienced.

I've gotten to the point where I'm talking to myself. I learned the "put-your-head-down-and-shut-out-the-world-and-push-as-hard-as-you-can" lesson several months ago. I've learned how to go to "that place"and dig deep to find reserves of strength and energy.  But now it's not enough. Because every single time the clock tells me it's time to sprint again, I want to quit.  I want to cheat and go a little easier -- or "accidentally" forget that it's time to sprint. So every single sprint requires a pep talk, which goes something like this. "You want the body more than you want to be comfortable. You want to be healthy. Fight for what you want.  Get mad. Use it. Dontgiveupdontgiveupdontyoudarequitonthisyoukeepgoingitsonlythirtysecondsgogogogo."

Every now and then, someone out of the group who has become my community will get on the bike next to me. As I get tired, they will begin to cheer me on.  That rocks to have people like that.  But it's funny, because while I'm vaguely aware of what they're doing, I can't really hear them. My head is down, I'm blasting my music as loud as it will go, and I'm making the ugliest face you've ever seen.  I'm in a place far away.  He-who-trains is always talking to me about taking it to the next level in the gym.  The next level, I'm realizing, is the place where I've learned to push myself to give it all that I have--not because someone is cheering me on, but because this is the thing I want for me. The thing I want most.

I saw this shirt the other day while I was shopping, and I should've gotten it.  Because when I look in the mirror, that's the question I ask myself. (Yeah, yeah-- I'm sure this is meant as a snarky, trash-talk thing-- but there's no one in the gym that I need to trash talk to. I don't care what "they" are doing!) When I leave the gym, dripping with sweat and too tired to move, I have to answer that person in the mirror. I always want to answer "Yeah, that's all I had. It wasn't easy, but I'm willing to work for what I want. I did it for me."