Saturday, June 30, 2012

Things that are Ridiculous

1. The Temperature -
Notice that I took this at 8:35 at night and it was still 100 degrees.
As disgustingly hot as it was I still had to get that run in -
You could not even guess how many people asked me,
"Why in the world did you just go for a run when you're playing rugby all day?"
However, they said it in much less polite and understanding terms.    
2. Running outside all day-
Not only did I go for a mile run, but I played in an all day rugby tourney.
We had 4 games - started at 9 and didn't leave until 5!
Hydrating with tons of water and fresh fruits was key.
3. This stupid chair -
300 pound weight limit my butt!
Or actually my back fat, since that's what busted through this bad boy.  
Runner's World Summer Run Streak -  
Day 34 = 1 mile 
Total Miles Run = 128.5

LosingAMarathon Weight Loss Challenge Update -

Pretty proud of myself.  I didn't do amazing, but I packed a healthy lunch to bring to the rugby field and then splurged and had the dinner they were serving at the social.  Still came in right under 1,800 calories.  Great for me since back in the day I'd consume way over 3,00 calories on a rugby day.  

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Food Porn

Last day of school = Food Truck Rally
Gourmet Grilled Cheese Truck.... drool
Tried to resist, but ended up with a delicious grilled Parmesan and artichoke (add tomatoes).
Tonight was family dinner before I go on vacation for a week.
Mom wanted to try a Cuban place.
After my lunch I tried to behave a bit better.
I got the El Bo'ritto and it tasted really fresh.
Yummy black beans!
It came with a side of plantains.  
On the way home I stopped by Publix.
I have recently discovered Greek yogurt and I am in love.
(I know I am always the last one on the band wagon.)
Unlike regular yogurt it actual keeps me full.
I was out - tragedy - so I made a special trip and found out it was on sale.
Stocked up on a few flavors I haven't yet tried.  
Runner's World Summer Run Streak -  
Day 33 = 2.5 miles (nice and slow again, still not feeling 100%)
Total Miles Run = 127.5

LosingAMarathon Weight Loss Challenge Update -

Didn't do very well, see food above.  However, I am not too down on myself because I did excellent Monday - Thursday and while I wasn't good today, it wasn't absolutely horrible either.  I am definitely not down calories today, but according to my tracking I am still well on track to losing a pound this week (my goal).    

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bad Habits Kicked

Today I came to the fabulous realization that I have finally gotten over some of my bad habits.  Maybe this whole change to a healthy lifestyle is finally starting to click.  What an exciting thought.

First off, I woke up and had a delicious breakfast.  I normally don't think much of this, but after talking to some fellow bloggers about the importance of breakfast I realized this is one area I pretty much rock at.  First of all, I LOVE food, so I never miss a meal.  However, when I used to go through my crash dieting phases I'd skip breakfast to try and cut pounds.  I love being able to say that I am not now, nor will I ever be again, on a diet.  I am eating healthy because I am hoping that it turns into a way of life, and I start it off every morning with a great breakfast.  I used to eat the same thing every morning - slice of turkey and a slice of 2% cheese on a piece of toast, but I have been branching out lately.  I discovered Greek yogurt (Hello, where have you been all my life?) and how fabulous it is with a handful of berries thrown in and have also been trying other wonderful ideas to get my day going in the right direction. 
Made breakfast for dinner Sunday night so I'd have enough leftover egg cups for this week.
Take a 6 pack of eggs.  Wisk together with a crud ton (Great measurement right?) of veggies.  I used onions, green peppers, and tomatoes (which I know aren't technically a vegetable, but really...) to give them some great flavor.
Spray muffin pan, pour egg mixture in, cook at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
These reheat great.  I have them in the morning on top of a piece of toast with a splash of Frank's or Texas Pete.  Delicious and easy breakfast.
Also, I have learned to listen to my body more.  Yesterday I woke up feeling horrible (sore throat, headache, swollen lymph nodes) so I went for a very slow easy run and headed to bed in time to get a full eight hours of sleep.  It is amazing what this can do for the body.  I woke up today feeling much better.  I had a 5-6 mile bridge run scheduled with T, but I have learned my lesson about resting.  As much as I wanted to go run with her and even felt like I probably could, I canceled.  Instead I went for a super slow run around my neighborhood and will be in bed in time to get nine full hours of sleep tonight.  My marathon training has helped me to see that running isn't just about one day it's about the big picture so it is better to cut a run short and give yourself time to heal and get healthy than to push yourself too much and regret it later.  Okay, in all honesty, I probably learned that lesson the hard way.  Last winter when I was training for my first marathon I started to feel really crummy, but didn't want to miss a single day of marathon training so I kept plowing through.  The result?  I ended up with a case of bronchitis that lasted for almost two months.  It made it through two rounds of Z-packs, more steroids than the Jersey Shore, and an inhaler that gave me 5th and 6th grade flashbacks (Supposedly I had sports induced asthma, which I am sure some people do, but who are we kidding I was just a chubby out of shape kid, call it like it is doc.) before I finally kicked that bronchitis jerk and two entire months of running suffered because of my stubborn stupidity.  If I had just listened to my body and taken a day or two off in the first place that probably all could have been avoided.  Lesson learned.

What lesson or lessons have you learned along the way?  Any bad habits you've kicked? 
I'd love to hear it.   

Runner's World Summer Run Streak -  
Day 32 = 2.5 miles (nice and slow)
Total Miles Run = 125

LosingA Marathon Weight Loss Challenge Update -

Pretty sure this is the only time I've ever eaten under 1,500 calories.  My goal is always to eat between 1,500-1,600 because that is where I seem to function & feel the best.  However, I am about to go to bed and have only consumed 1,231.  Maybe I am slowly learning to make better food choices and by giving my body healthier, more nutritious foods I am able to feel full off of less.  This is quite an exciting revelation.  Maybe this will be my next lesson learned.  (Fingers crossed.) 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Day in the Life

Since I know you're all convinced I lay around all day watching made-for-TV movies and eating dark chocolate dipped strawberries while being fanned by my pool boy - Here it is: A Day in the Life
I start off with a healthy breakfast before work.
When I was in my crazy yo-yo phase before I started making healthy choices I'd skip breakfast to try and lose weight.  Stupid idea.
Chobani vanilla, berries, and just a bit of granola on top for crunch.
I'm currently teaching a summer enrichment course from 8 - 4 every day.
It is on learning math & technology through sports.
Means I get to dress like this instead of wearing my normal teacher clothes, but also that my class is 90%  eight and nine year old boys.  Exhausting.
(P.S.- Brand new phone still working on the self portrait thing.)
I have a 30 minute break, by the time I drive there, between school and class.
Stopped at Starbucks to study.
I allow myself one or two frappaccinos a month.
Mocha grande, nonfat milk, no whip - Turns out everyone was ordering this the same way so now I'm just supposed to call it a "Mocha Light"
For only 130 calories it makes me happy and doesn't push me past my calorie count.
Moderation, not exclusion.
Night class from 5-8
Spanish 101.
Lots of my students and their parents speak it.  Trying to brush up.
Home for a quick run.  They are shorter on M & W because of class.
Still loving my purple Mizuno Wave Creations.
Then time to check and update my blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Yikes- In case you can't tell I have 49 tabs open at once (I just counted).
Then to Google -
"Why has my cat turned into a demon who is suddenly peeing on my stuff?"
Look innocent doesn't she?
Eight years and she has never done this before, great new trick:(
However, knowing the searches that have led people to my page recently :
Fat Kid Eating Cake
Nude Bathroom & Nude Washroom
Farmers Having Bad Day
Binge Eat Every Night + Unhappy with Job
Girls Getting Thong Pulled Up
How do I make my cream cheese frosting sniffer?
Chances are I'll probably just end up back at my own blog.
Really?  Craziness!
Then to bed early earlier than my usual midnight because I am feeling kinda sick (sore throat) and I have to squash that now as I get to see my favorite dude for the first time in months on Sunday.  
Runner's World Summer Run Streak - 
Day 31 = 1.5 miles
Total Miles Run = 122.5

LosingA Marathon Weight Loss Challenge Update -
Stayed right at my calorie goal each of the last 3 days, plus squeezed in some workouts.  Fingers crossed that my hard work pays off.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I have to admit that I've been in a bit of a running funk lately.  Ever since my amazing run 10 days ago things have been pretty blah.  I'm feeling slow, tired, and sore and not bouncing back from my many months off as quickly as I wanted to.  Don't get me wrong I've never been a fast runner, I will never win a race, or even my age group, but I was doing well for me and now I am really struggling.  I guess it is also frustrating because I love running, but I know I'll never be that amazing at it.  
Well after too many negative thoughts bouncing around in my head the last couple runs it is time to snap out of it.  I need to remind myself of how far I have come. Just a little while ago I was in plus sized clothing, 25 pounds heavier, unhappy, and unable to exercise much - now even if I am doing it slowly I am training for a marathon.  I have made so much progress.  I need to remind myself to snap out of it, stop thinking negative on my runs, and get my butt in gear even harder than before.  
Runner's World Summer Run Streak - 
Day 30  = 4.5 miles (+ spin class)
Total Miles Run = 121

LosingAMarathon Weight Loss Challenge -
Stayed right on my calorie goal both yesterday and today.  Wonder... If I worked to get myself used to it could I eat less than 1,600 calories a day without being a raving, angry lunatic.  Hmmm....

My question to you -
Do you track your food?  Do weight watchers?  Count calories?  Let me know what works for you.  I am always looking for ideas.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Food Frenzy

I was in charge of hosting Bunco this weekend which means you all get a lot of recipes.  Hope you enjoy.  The Skinny Pimento Cheese was BEYOND easy to make and great, my mom has already called to ask when I am putting the spin & artichoke recipe up so she can have it.  T was eating the pizza pockets cold on the way home she liked them so much, but my absolute favorite were the wraps.  They had a great spicy flavor and were really tasty.  I might make them for myself for dinner sometime.  Yummy. 

Skinny Pimento Cheese -
Mix the following ingredients.
2 cups reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
4 ounces Greek, Non-Fat, Plain Yogurt
4 tablespoons low fat Hellman's mayo
4 ounces pimentos
1 pinch salt (adjust to your own taste)
1 pinch pepper
pita chips, crackers, or bread to serve on
Dish Stats:
Entire Dish = 814 calories & 53 grams of fat
Split into 8 decent sized servings = 102 calories & 7 grams of fat
Reduced Fat Spinach & Artichoke Dip-
14oz. can of artichoke hearts
10oz frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 clove garlic
3/4 cup Greek, Non-Fat, Plain Yogurt
1/4 cup low fat Hellman's mayo
2/3 cup shredded parmigiano
4 oz shredded reduced fat mozzarella
salt and pepper to taste
pita chips, crackers, or bread to serve on
Preheat oven to 375.
Chop artichoke hearts, garlic, and shallots.
Combine all ingredients and mix well in large bowl.
Spray an oven proof dish and place mixture in it.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheesy is melty (and looks delicious)
Dish Stats:
Entire Dish = 786 calories & 36 grams of fat
Split into 8 decent sized servings = 98 calories & 5 grams of fat

Pizza Pockets-
3 cans Buttermilk Biscuits (10 biscuits per can)
60 pepperoni slices
Block of Mozzarella cheese
1 beaten egg
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
*1 jar pizza sauce/Marinara to serve with

Cut the block of cheese into 30 squares.

Flatten a biscuit out and stack pepperoni, cheese, and then pepperoni on top.
Gather up the edges of the biscuit.
Line the rolls up in a greased 9x13 in. pan.  
Brush with beaten egg.
Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
Bake at 425°F for 18-20 minutes.Serve the rolls with warm pizza sauce for dipping.   This recipe make 30 pockets, it could easily be reduced.Dish Stats:Each Pocket = 150 calories & 9 grams of fat
Spicy Chicken Wraps-
16 oz precooked chicken breast pieces
2 cans Ro-tel diced tomatoes, drained (I used one normal & one spicy - gave it the perfect kick)
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup 2% Mexican blend cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
6 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
6-8 large flour tortillas (I used garlic & sundried tomato wraps for fun)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Lay out tortillas and divide mixture evenly in the center of each.
Spread into a thin layer leaving the edges clean.
Roll each tortilla tightly.
Spear with toothpick, so they don't unroll, then cut each tortilla into 4 slices.
Serve with salsa and guacamole. One whole wrap = 387 calories & 14 grams of fat*I used the big Toufanya wraps which are 160 calories each.  Next time I'll use my 89 calorie La Banderita tortilla I love and cut these bad boys down to 316 calories.  Split into 4 servings = 97 calories & 4 grams of fat

Plus I couldn't go without dessert.  The Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries were the first thing to disappear.  Find their recipe here.  I made double the stuffing for them, bought some take and bake sugar cookies, and a ton of fruit and made an adorable make your own fruit pizza bar.  Too fun!

Runner's World Summer Run Streak-
Day 29 = 2.5 miles (late run after work & night class)
Total Miles Run =116.5

 LosingAMarathon -
My goal is a pound a week for 13 weeks that way I lose my 13.1.
I was only down 0.3 pounds today after week one.  
Probably because I had some serious issues last week.
Back on track though and did great today.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

5 Things Nonrunners & Newbie Runners Need to Know

1. The racing isn't the hard part, the training is - When you race yes you have to wake up early and wait in line and do a million things to get there on time, but it is beyond worth it.  The atmosphere is amazing it's so empowering almost as if something is floating around in the air.  Plus you have thousands of people to race against, crowds cheering you on, people there only for the purpose of handing you water/Gatorade, and a medal (and in my case bagel) waiting for you at the finish.  When you train there is no one to race against & push against, no crowd to cheer you on, and nobody waiting to offer you water.  It is just you and your mileage, that's when you push yourself.  Don't get me wrong, as runners we are always proud of our races, but it is the training that allowed us to finish them that is the most amazing, difficult, unbelievable part.   
My first marathon
2. Running is an addiction - As a runner there is a point where you realize you have become a runaholic.  You may not even be sure exactly when it happened, how, or why, but suddenly running is a part of who you are.  You're the person leaving the party early because you are already thinking about your run the next morning.  You may say sorry when you head off to bed and leave you friends behind to prepare for a run or when they ask you to meet for a brunch and you tell them you already scheduled a long run.  They may laugh and think you're crazy that you can't reschedule a run when you're the only one running.  Why not do it later?  It's because while you say you're sorry you can't join them in fact - you're not.  You're addicted, you're doing what you love, and while they are sleeping, eating, beaching it you will be running. 
Loved this sub 2hr half
3. Runners love converts - When I first started running I made it to the mailbox and thought I was going to die.  I made myself run a little more each day and not only was I embarrassed at how out of shape I was, I was embarrassed that "real" runners would see me and laugh or feel sorry for me.  Here is the truth.  If you run, you're a runner.  Nobody will tease you, laugh at you, or think less of you.  In fact those of us who have been running for awhile love converts.  How awesome that instead of sitting at home on your butt you're out going for a run be it five minutes or five hours.  We'd give you a high five if we could, but a nod of the head or wave will have to do instead.  (P.S.- This is a running thing, feel free to do it back.)
Amen - great quote
4. Running is not easy - You have days you want to stop and it takes everything you have just to push through and days when you want to keep pushing, but know that for the sake of your body you should stop.  Not every run is easy, many are just okay, some are hard, and a few are horrible.  Don't assume that just because we ran a 5K, 10K, a half, or a marathon that means running is simple for us.  Every runner has good days and bad days.  You could be a newbie or a seasoned veteran distance runner go out for an easy mile and have a terrible run, sometimes it just doesn't click.
Over 90 degree 10 mile run -
My face started out pale white my shirt light purple (yikes!)
5. We will run with you - If you're a nonrunner who is thinking about trying running and someone who has been running for a while offers to run with you, it is because they want to.  Many nonrunners or newbie runners are scared to accept an offer from a more seasoned runner.  Yes, they may be faster than you, run further, have goals, schedules, etc.  However, if they offered to run with you they mean it.  Runners enjoy helping other people fall in love with running so take them up on their offer.  I promise we aren't jerks who will try to out run you or push you too hard (at first) we realize you are just starting out and we're fine with it.  This run is about you, not us.   
Supporting a friend through her first 5K
Runner's World Summer Run Streak -
Day 28 = 10 miles
Total Miles Run = 114
*Check my total mileage & workout update.  

LosingAMarthon Update -
Did okay at the party last night, not as good as I wanted, but I did control myself a bit.  Doing much better today.  It was a rough week though so overall I hope to be down just a bit.  Probably about a half a pound.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Do these vitamins make my butt look big?

I am the absolute worst about remembering to take vitamins.  So when they came out with a million types of gummy vitamins I jumped straight onto the bandwagon.  I don't need a cup or water to take them and they taste delicious so my sweet tooth always reminds me to get them.  I was taking my pill vitamins maybe twice a week, these I never miss.
I even have to hold myself to eating only the serving size otherwise I would OD on gummy vitamins.  (Is that even possible?...hmmm)

I take all these plus their Omega 3.  That 8 yummy gummies a day.  

However, now that I am doing this weight loss challenge I have been really counting my calories and I discovered I eat 70 calories a day in gummy vitamins.  WTF!  Are you kidding me?  I am consuming over 2,000 gummy vitamin calories a month.  Holy crap!  I did the math and that is about 7 vitamin pounds a year. Really?  I might as well be eating a bag of gummy bears!  Yikes.

And to think all this time I thought I couldn't lose those last couple pounds because I am addicted to desserts and cheeses, nope turns out it was the darn gummy vitamins.  Ahhhhh...

Okay, in all seriousness though I really don't need an extra 2,000 calories a month.  Do any of you have vitamins you like?  I hate taking lots, but I want a multivitamin, some extra C, lots of calcium, and maybe some Omega 3 stuff.  Do you know of any brand that has a great pill covering all these?

Runner's World Summer Run Streak-
Day 27 = 7 mile run + 1 mile walk 
Total Miles Run = 104 (Woohoo over 100 for the streak!)
It was so hot.  Over 90 degrees.
Valuable lesson - When you wake up at 8 to run...
don't sit around reading blogs until 10:30 or you'll sweat to death!
LosingAMarathon Update-
Had a great breakfast & healthy lunch.  I was really craving something sweet for dessert though so I had my fruit and yogurt in smoothie form and this satisfied my craving while convincing my body I got a shake.  Gotta work hard tonight as I am helping host a party with a ton of food. 
My favorite Greek yogurt so far +
strawberries & ice = faking out my sweet tooth 

Short, sweet, ...

& straight to the point.
After I spent over 3 hours waiting at Best Buy (my old phone is heading to its grave and they have the one I want for $50 instead of the $100 at AT&T) most of my evening is killed and it will be bed time soon so no big blog post.  

Just wanted to update you all on some cool stuff before I hit the sheets -
1. ESPNW/Nike pinned my rule.  Shut the front door!  How cool?  I was so excited, I mean holy crud. ESPN & Nike picked up on my rule and added it to their #MakeTheRules pinboard with all their famous athletes! Why hello Mia Hamm & Lisa Leslie. Nice to meet you;) 
You can follow all my Pinterest boards at
I thought mine looked pretty good, but they made it look just like the ones the professional athletes have.
2. With my new $50 phone I can now use Instagram to stalk pictures of my nephew as another way to stay in contact with all my BackAtSquareZero buds.

As if between this blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest you just don't get enough Abby time... now you get more!
Actually I totally appreciate the stalking/support so go through and jump on them all... you know you'll love having me busting into your life on every possible social media outlet.  Hello...! :)

Follow me on Instgram @BackASquare0

3. I've been a FitFluential Ambassador for a week now and it has been amazing. They are such a motivating and supportive group of people.  Any of you in the health & fitness blog world who have not done so yet should totally fill out the application.  Worth it!

Runner's World Summer Run Streak -
Day 26 = 1 mile
Total Miles Run = 97

LoseAMarathon Challenge Update -
Only went 10 calories over my goal today so pretty good, was craving sweets all day, but didn't cave (even better).  Wish I could have gotten in more than 1 mile, but I didn't count on the Best Buy trip taking almost 4 hours door to door.  Yikes.  

How have you all been doing this week?  Are you getting in the workouts?  Quelling the cravings?  Keep me updated.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fat Kid Food Issues

I have been great about exercising for the last year and a half and am probably in the best shape I've ever been in, but I'm a work in progress and still have a long way to go.  Doing this Weight Loss Challenge has really got me thinking about food more than I normally do and helped me to realize that my eating habits are what I have to change if I truly want to become the healthiest, fittest version of myself. I generally do pretty well eating healthy and I don't buy junk because I don't want it in my house.  
What I look like when I eat
What I want to look like
However, I have some serious (former) fat kid food issues.  I could out eat pretty much every man, woman, and child on this planet and think I have a better chance of earning a medal in competitive eating than I ever do in a race.  I'm the type of person who knows that you can pour a box of Funfetti cake mix in a cereal bowl add just a bit of milk and have the most delicious 2,000+ calorie snack ever!  Really who thinks to eat an entire box of cake mix out of a bowl?  Me, and it's fabulous!  (Don't judge.)  For a while occurrences like this were very common for me, but the more I have been working out the better I have been about watching what I eat.  I have taken that angry fat girl who used to live inside me and contained her pretty well, don't get me wrong she sticks her head out every once in a while and begs for something horribly delicious, but generally I can beat her into submission.  
I am scared to think of how good I'd be at this.  
My biggest problem though - reward food.  I was raised in a family that celebrated making the honor roll by letting you choose any restaurant of your choice to go out to.  My family still loves food, cooking, eating out, and using it to celebrate - as do I.  However, I have got to stop using the "I deserve it" excuse in order to allow myself to eat unhealthy foods that I don't need.  Please don't get me wrong I think the occasional reward or splurge is great.  Holiday, sure.  Birthday, perfect!  However, I have been know to think of any reason to reward myself with food.  Last day of school - check.  Vacation - of course.  Got back from a great run - you earned it (and will probably eat back every calorie you burned).  That is why my goal for this weight loss challenge is to get real and stop using rewarding myself as an excuse to eat junk.  
All I could think when I saw this...
Ice cream = Yummy (drool)
Obviously I have a long way to go.
Runner's World Summer Run Streak -
Day 25 = 7 miles
Total Miles Run = 96
Post run cool down
Gorgeous little path to the water
Actually, like right into the water
Lose A Marathon Challenge
200 calories over my daily goal.  I'm okay with that though because I did way better than earlier this week, the food was all pretty healthy, and I ran a decent bit.  Baby steps.
What is your biggest food splurge?
Also, what do you do to avoid making bad food decisions.
Would love your feedback.  Thanks.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Rule

Loving these posts I saw yesterday.  They are part of Nike's Make the Rules campaign and I am all about anything that tries to empower females to be healthy and athletic.  How kick butt are these?  Seriously... Love them!  
Of course the running one is my absolute favorite.
Don't know anything about this boxer,
but her attitude is fabulous.
True for me during rugby and also when I trip while running (constantly)
I've got mine ready in case Nike comes a calling.  

What would your rule be?
Would love to hear what yours would say.

Runner's World Summer Run Streak -
Day 24 = 1 mile (work followed by night class, but the streak is still alive)
Total Miles Run = 89
Lose A Marathon Progress
After my obsessive eating yesterday I was good about staying under my calorie goal today.  Didn't want to have to give you all a sucky report.