Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Thanksgiving Recap: Planning to Go Off Plan & a 5K!

This Thanksgiving was the first major holiday since Ben and I have started on our health journey and we are both down a little more than 70 pounds. I can't believe that I'm even typing that, as it is such a huge accomplishment for the both of us and one I didn't ever think I'd be able to write out on a computer keyboard. And although we have a long road ahead of us, for once in my life, I feel like I'm actually going to finish what I have been fighting since I was a little kid and feel like I'm actually doing this. And sharing my story with all of you and all of the bumps and accomplishments along this journey has been cathartic to say the least. The more that I feel like I'm connecting even with just one reader, the more motivated I am to keep going. I've said before that this will always be my "mountain" and that couldn't be more true. This will always be my mountain and having the support, love and encouragement of the random hikers I meet along this trail makes every step less daunting. I can't even tell you. 

That being said, I view Thanksgiving as one day out of the year. Would it be fabulous to not have a bite of stuffing or a piece of pie on that day? Of course. But I'm human. And to me, that's not even logical. Or worth it. I have spent too many years hating myself and punishing myself over what I just put in my mouth and beating myself up and perpetuating the nasty shame cycle over a helping of dressing. Or that piece of pie. In years past, Thanksgiving was one day of the year of about 350 where I would eat what I wanted and I was not strong enough to pump the brakes the day after and get back to reality. Get back to my goals. For far, far too long, I got sucked into the "if I fall off the wagon, I might as well fall even further and do this.. and eat that.. and that.. and that.." until all of a sudden, it was January 1st I had been sucked in that vacuum for months with no strength to pull myself out. So why not eat another breakfast burrito? Or two

This year, I looked at Thanksgiving as one day where I had my piece of pie, I ate the stuffing I grew up on with cranberry sauce because it's absolutely perfect, and for dinner, I put it all together between two pieces of bread (crazy, I know! I'm ultra wild over here) and enjoyed it in sandwich form because that's just what I do. And that's what I've always done. And the next day, I figured I'll be fine going back to my protein shake breakfast and all of the usual suspects of my daily food repertoire. Looking ahead at Thanksgiving, I had to decide what was still worth it to me, what I loved, what I wanted to change and keep items and goals simple and attainable and make decisions that I wouldn't end up regretting or hating later. In essence, I wanted to be comfortable nixing a few things and adding things I'd never thought of and still feel like I was a real, live Thanksgiving-loving American just enjoying my holiday like everyone else. 

Going into it, I figured making some tweaks would still make me feel like I wasn't missing out but what ended up happening was I actually ate half as much as I thought I would and I was extremely, uncomfortably bloated even days after. What can I say, when I go off track even for one meal, I suffer from "carb face". It's almost as if my body isn't used to the carbs and my entire face bloats and I just feel tired and lethargic. In short, I can't believe I functioned day to day when I ate the carbs I used to eat and after a day of eating the things I loved- even in moderation- I can definitely tell the difference in even the little things like brain fog. I am so much more clear-minded when I'm limiting my carbs and focusing on a high protein/low carb diet. Did I know this before making said plan to go off plan for Thanksgiving? Why, yes I did. Let's just keep it real over here. 

That being said, this year there were some little changes. I was thrilled for a few little substitutions: my mom's famous "Party Potatoes" for my famous Twice Baked Cauliflower Casserole (it really is that good) and I also made a batch of my Garlic & Cheddar Cheese Biscuits in lieu of rolls. Because 1 carb for a biscuit is kind of my thing. But possibly the biggest change in this year's Thanksgiving Day roundup was that Ben and I went downtown on Thanksgiving Day for the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot 5k! I've wanted to do it for such a long time but never had the guts to click "register" and this year we decided to end that and just go for it. Never did I ever think that that'd be something that I'd say I'd do and then actually follow through and do, but you'd be surprised what happens when you listen to the crazy little voice in your head that tells you that you can do something. You do things like wake up at 6:15 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning and pile on the spandex for a 5k! #nottheprettiestsight

The Turkey Trot was such a fun experience for Ben and I and it was a nice way of getting out early in the morning and getting in some exercise before the day began. Also, it's been probably 15 years since I've participated in any sort of 5k and the energy was just infectious. We weren't racing but going into it, I had a goal of finishing at around 1:15. With bands playing along the roads of Dallas and Deep Ellum residents throwing down bead necklaces from their windows and balconies, it was just a lot of fun to tour our city on foot and see places we've been wanting to try and explore a part of town that we're not too familiar with. We just had the best time. AND I got to wear a fancy little number and got a tshirt, so, hey, I was all for it. 

Even better, we finished right at an hour which surpassed the goal I set for myself, so overall, I felt like it was a big ol' win. 

Up at 6:15 a.m. and downtown all ready to trot!

These tired eyes never thought they'd see the day where I had a number across my shirt. So fun!

Taking in all the excitement of downtown with this handsome turkey!

This doesn't even do the starting line cluster justice.. It was piled a few blocks deep but once it got going after about 15 minutes it was a lot less crazy

Mid-trot! We loved getting to tour our beautiful city!

Yay for mile 3! 

Just crossed the finish line & we loved our first trot! 

Each year, Ben and I switch off major holidays between our families, so since we will be spending Thanksgiving in Denver with his side of the family next year, we are already looking into 5k's we can participate in come next Thanksgiving! We had such a great experience that we decided mid-way through that we definitely wanted this to be our new Thanksgiving tradition. 

So, here we are a few days later and we're both back in the swing of things food-wise and consuming lots and lots of greens to rid ourselves of the stuffing and corn casserole that was last Thursday. #notevenmadaboutit But yanno what? It's December 2nd and we've got 29 days until the new year! It's never too late to set a goal and go for it and I am determined to make it count. 

Happy Tuesday, you beautiful people! What are your goals for December?

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