I won’t bore you with what I eat every single day, but I thought it might be interesting to see what I ate on Day 1.
I was working with whatever my mom had in her kitchen up until just before dinner, when I went to the grocery store and stocked up on all things paleo and delicious.
Three rosemary scrambled eggs and a whole tomato. Crush dried rosemary with your fingers and add a few pinches to the eggs as you scramble them. Yum!
A big (Costco-sized) can of tuna mixed with a bit of yellow mustard Pickle spears Banana
BLT lettuce wraps with mashed avocado — make this happen to your life immediately!!
Lots of asparagus
I’m not sure if that’s considered a little or a lot of food for someone eating paleo; all I know is that I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. I could barely finish the asparagus because dinner was so filling!
Here’s what I bought at the grocery store…
Protein: Two dozen eggs, bacon, chicken, tilapia
Fruit: Apples, dried cranberries, dates
Vegetables: Broccoli, red and orange bell peppers, avocados, zucchini, yams, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, asparagus, romaine lettuce
Nuts: Raw walnuts, raw pecans
Misc: Coconut oil (for cooking)
I looked for almond meal and coconut flour, but couldn’t find them at Safeway. PCC, maybe?
We also have some frozen ground beef, and my mom has spinach in her organic garden. Can’t wait till all the other garden vegetables start growing!
I haven’t written too much before about weight and body image because, since I began running in late 2010, those things haven’t really been an issue for me. I consistently trained for races, which meant lots of cardio and generally eating healthy foods, and in late 2011 I added swimming, cycling and weight-lifting to my workout regimen. I’m a very lucky person in that a moderate amount of exercise and eating well most of the time results in my being generally satisfied with my physical appearance.
I spent a few weeks last summer eating paleo, meaning that I ate fresh, whole foods, like vegetables, fruit, meat, seafood, eggs and nuts, while avoiding grains, dairy and processed foods.
I found myself feeling much better overall and noticed that I never got that horrible bloated feeling after eating, even if I had a large meal. My jeans fit just as well at the end of the day as they did when I put them on that morning. I didn’t even know that was possible!
I even felt confident enough in how I looked to go for a run wearing just a sports bra and shorts on a really hot August day. Flashback to 2011:
This was a one-time thing, by the way! Ha.
A-ny-way, I tell you all this because I’m no longer happy with the way I look. I put on about 10 pounds while traveling from February to May. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it’s the result of losing a lot of muscle as well as putting on fat.
I’ve been super sedentary for nearly one month — I sprained my ankle on May 6 in Thailand.
So, here’s how I look today. (Those are bikini bottoms, not undies, btw!)
And here’s what I weigh. (For reference, I ran my marathon feeling strong and in the best shape of my life at 138 pounds, and I’m 5’6".)
I’m posting this not because it’s fun — it’s very difficult to hit publish!! — but because I’ve shared plenty of fitness triumphs over the past few years of writing this blog, and it’s only fair that I share a low point as well.
I follow many people on Tumblr who candidly share their struggles with weight, body image, eating, exercise, etc. and I’d hate to continue pretending that I don’t struggle with those things, too.
I’m at this point because of a serious lack of exercise over the past few months, but also because of my eating. I indulged in lots of local food everywhere I traveled, sure, but I also found myself binge eating when I was lonely. I ate huge chocolate bars, entire packages of cookies, etc. It wasn’t pretty! I stopped doing that at the end of April. I realized it was stupid and only made me feel worse. I’ve had zero desire to do it since.
Now that I’m home, I have access to all the fresh, healthy food I want. I have no excuse to not eat well. I won’t be able to run or do any high-impact exercise on my bum ankle for a while, but I can work on my upper body and core, and do modified workouts to go easy on the ankle.
Last night, at my final birthday celebration (divorced parents = multiple birthdays!), my dad gave me Everyday Paleo, which is packed with delicious, nutritious recipes, grocery lists, meal plans, exercises and more. I flipped through it and got really excited to start today!
Yeah, it’s May 30, and not the first of the month. It’s a Wednesday, not a Monday. But why wait for some arbitrary “fresh start” day? There’s no better day than TO-DAY.
This is not about losing a certain number of pounds or getting back to the shape I was in at my peak of marathon training — that’s just unrealistic. It’s about feeling better and fitting in my clothes like I did before my trip. (They still fit… kind of… just not super comfortably).
Back when I ate paleo last summer, I looked and felt better than ever. Aaron started eating paleo with me at the time, and he has continued quite consistently! He’s dropped fat and packed on about 15 pounds of muscle since then. I’m excited to start again and see where it takes me.
I plan to eat strict paleo for a month, work out at least 3x a week and weigh in each Wednesday, mostly out of curiosity. I’ll post another photo in the same outfit at the end of June, since everyone loves a good “before and after” (or at least “before and during”). After that, I’ll assess how I feel about eating paleo and either continue it or modify it.
The good news is that I’m mostly hobbling around my mom’s house without the help of crutches!
The bad news is that it’s a serious hobble — nothing close to a normal walk, and I’m probably still weeks or months away from running.
But I can still try on my new running gear and get excited to run again, right?
You may remember that Brooks sent some clothes to my mom’s house back in March as a thank-you for some volunteering I did in November, but I’m just now getting to check them out. Most of the stuff is super cute!
I especially love this jacket, which I would never ever ever buy for myself because it is sooo lightweight and just doesn’t feel like it’s worth the cost. It’ll sure come in handy as I run in Seattle’s rainy weather, though!
And you can roll/velcro the hood away to turn it into a track jacket.
You win, Brooks. You win.
The only item that didn’t win? This extremely sheer, mesh, sea foam green tank.
I give them props for matching it to the green trim on the shorts, but I’m so not a fan on this look on me. Why bother with a top at all if you can see everything anyway?
However, I also got that top in pink and the fabric was much thicker and less see-through. So much pink! And… arm-warmers.
I’ve never worn arm-warmers, but I could see these being useful for the first few miles of cold-weather runs. Please ignore the backwards/upside-down nature of the Brooks logo.
Please note that I have not been asked to pimp Brooks clothing; I just literally have nothing else new to post, unless you want to be completely updated on The Real Housewives of Orange County, Giuliana and Bill and Khloe and Lamar.
I’m surprised my mom’s On Demand remote has not burst into flames from the amount of use it’s gotten since I’ve been laid up on her couch with a bum ankle.
P.P.S. “Oh my God, I shouldn’t have chugged that Milo” — Milo is like chocolate milk, and I believe is the foreign equivalent to Nestle Qwik. Let that be a lesson for anyone who takes a sketchy old mountain bike out on a hilly Thai island!
Oh, California. You are warm and sunny and not humid. I love you.
I also love my dad and my brother.
I love the incredible views all around Yosemite, and seeing my little second cousins running around all over the place (they are the four kids on the walkway, and the big guy is my cousin heading over to keep them in line).
I love that my granddad, who passed away in September, set aside money in his will for the entire Mills family to spend time in Yosemite — his favorite place — and have a special evening at the Ahwahnee Hotel dining room, where we ordered fancy wine and toasted to his memory. He was a very classy man with excellent taste.
I enjoyed an incredible salad with arugula, beets, candied orange peel, walnuts and a big hunk of brie…
…braised lamb shank…
…and a ridiculous slice of red velvet/fudge cake that I shared with my dad. We owned it.
I’m doing my best to crutch around like a champ and not be too much of a disruption to everyone else. I hate asking for help, but my family is so happy to offer it and I’m learning to accept gracefully.
After three months of doing everything on my own, it’s very interesting to suddenly really need other people. It’s an important reminder, I think, that being fiercely independent isn’t the only thing I should value. I need people in my life, especially people I care about, whether I’m injured or perfectly fine.
I’ve been trying to leave my crutches out of photos (damn my pride), but here they are in the background.
I really owe my crutches for allowing me to hobble off the beaten path, through the forest and to this peaceful spot overlooking the Yosemite Valley.
Here, my family and I spread my granddad’s ashes, per his wishes. We cried, we laughed, we shared memories. We said goodbye.
Now he’ll always be a part of what he considered to be the most beautiful place in the world. I might just have to agree with him.