Friday, October 5, 2012

Dedicated? You bet!

I woke this morning thinking about dedication. I'm dedicated to my goal. I thought I was dedicated to my goal for a long time now. Perhaps I have been. Perhaps the goal has shifted. I started running in July of 2011. my goal for 2012 was to run 4 half marathon races. Through the year I've also had a goal of dropping 10-15 percent of my body fat. While I've run 3 half marathons, one 13.5 mile trail run, and am training for my final half marathon race of the year I'm no where close (I have 10% left to go) to reaching any fat burning goals.

I don't feel I've been neglecting the fat burning goal. I feel more that I've been expecting that goal to just tag along and somehow be a side effect of the running goals. Running has gotten my cardiovascular health up. My heart is beating quite strong and carries me through long runs up hill. I'm not nearly as winded from exertion as I was 6 weeks ago let alone last Fall. Running has made my legs stronger. I'm able to climb hills without burning quads. I can do squats and lunges that before would have had my knees screaming. Best of all I'm able to run on a leg that has 8 screws and a plate in the ankle and just above without excruciating pain.

But all this running has not created a fat deficit. It has not forced my body to burn the fat down to the percentage I want. I looked at that in detail just before I challenged myself to writing this blog for 90 days straight. I had a little talk with myself. I talked to myself about my goal body fat percentage goal. I wanted to be clear with myself as to why I wanted to reach this goal. Do I really feel this is attainable and what is the purpose? Then I looked at what would be required for me to reach that goal. What would have to change in my attitude? What would I have to change in my diet? What dedication would I have to place in my own journey? Do I really have time for that? Is it all worth it?

The changes I've made in my dedication to my diet are huge for me. Every change that an individual makes is huge for them. I'm 16 years past the giving up soda and sugary drinks change. I've learned over the last 12 years that I'm not just intolerant to wheat but I can no longer eat any gluten. I know of all my other food allergies and sensitivities. For most people these are the toughest challenges. These are the changes that cause cravings and bumps on the road to success.

What changes could be left? Dairy. I love half and half in coffee. It tastes great and I feel something is missing from my coffee if it is black or has a non-dairy substitute milk in it. I'm also a meal skipper. Skipping meals throws off the blood sugar. I know that high and low blood sugar both put the body into a fat storing not a fat burning zone. Somehow this knowledge was not enough to fuel a dedication to eating on time. I also know that when I eat processed grains (for me they are gluten free) my body does not feel good, puts on weight, and puts the brakes on the fat burning.

I have a renewed dedication. I have my goal in sight. I know that burning up that body fat will make running easier and if it is easier it is more fun. I have my why. I have my goal in my heart and on the radar of my daily routine. I know there will be many temptations along the way. I'll deal with them. I'm sure I will write about them in the future. For today I'm going to keep my sights on the goal and the steps necessary to reach that goal. I am dedicated to me reaching my goals.

My detox lunch today? Roasted chickpeas on a grilled spinach salad. Really? Grilled salad? Yes. YUM.

Roasted Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas rinsed and well drained
1 tsp olive oil (unless on detox and then OIL FREE)
sea salt and herbs of choice

Pour the olive oil onto a jelly roll pan or a broiler pan. Add the drained chickpeas and roll to coat. Sprinkle with herbs and salt. I like sea salt and garlic powder best. I have used Cajun spices, Old Bay Seasoning (omit the salt here), Italian herbs, basically what ever suits my fancy at the moment. They go into a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Stir them about a few times to keep them from sticking or burning on one side. If you don't eat them all in one sitting they can be kept in the fridge. I like them as a snack, as part of the meal, and as a topping for salad instead of croutons.

Grilled Spinach Salad

2-3 cups of spinach
Halved cherry tomatoes

Arrange the spinach and tomatoes on a broiler proof dish. Place under the broiler. I didn't use the highest setting in my oven. I put the rack down one level and kept an eye on it really good. I let the spinach wilt and the tomatoes get hot then pulled it from the oven. You don't want to let it cook too long or your spinach will be soggy. After adding chickpeas to the salad I had a wonderful lunch. If I'd not been on detox I might have dressed this salad with some vinaigrette dressing. Or I might have just gone ahead and eaten it as is.

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