Sunday, August 30, 2009

Honesty is the best policy

It's been a rough week for me. Last Sunday, I gave blood. As much as I hate it, I feel like it's something that I should do to help people. It literally saves people's lives. I'm a people pleaser. I have this guilt complex that takes over.
However, when I give blood, I physically am sick for at least a week. I get very dizzy when I stand up, I am tired, short of breath when I exercise, and sore. It almost feels like I have the flu.
So I took the week off exercising. A whole week. I tried on Wednesday and Friday to do the shred, but as soon as I got to the first cardio circut in each, I got so out of breath and dizzy, it scared me.
This also means I haven't been on a run in a week. Tomorrow morning, I'm going to do it. I have to.

I have always noticed that if I don't exercise or half-ass my eating, I see the weight gain in my stomach first. If I don't get hardcore and try to work off the 3-4 lbs. in the next week, it gravitates to my hips. So, it's been a week, and I've noticed my stomach is fatter. I need to work it off before it goes to my hips. Not that I like it in either place, but it's more permanent when it's on my hips I've noticed. And seemingly harder to get rid of. I'm glad I know my body well enough to see the "warning, weight gain ahead" signs, but that doesn't always mean I listen.
So there's my truth.
And maybe I gave blood so I could have an excuse to take a week off subconsciously. But there's no reason to because as long as I don't have a job, exercising needs to be priority #2 (after looking for jobs!!!)

All I know is that I need to find a job - SOON! JJ's going to start travelling again with work every other weekend, and I need something to keep me busy and keep me from sitting at home alone, with the tendency to emotionally eat. I am proud of myself for how well I've done since moving here (it will be a month tomorrow), and if you don't count the past week, I've done awesome so far!
I do have a good feeling about a job I've interviewed on the phone for twice, I'm going in for a final, sit down interview this week. I also met with the editor of a magazine down here and have some big plans for the future with food and restaurant blogging, but when I know more details I'll fill everyone in.
In a month, I'm going to start ramping up my running from 3 miles, 3-4 times a week to 3 miles 2x per week and 1 or 2 longer runs, bumping it up 1/2 mile each week to take my back to 10k distance since Thanksgiving is only 3 months away. Then I'll take it easy in December and then start preparing for the 15k in March.
So I've got a plan, I've got some promising possibilities in the near future... that should be a good motivator!

So if you're still with me, any ways you help get yourself out of a week long 'funk' where you don't exercise and eat just ok? I told JJ about it and he said he'd try to encourage me to get back on track if he remembers... sounds promising, right?
I'm trying to think of ways I've pulled myself out of it in the past, but with nothing to look forward to and no big plans coming up, I feel like I have no goal and nothing motivating me.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nothing new...

So I haven't blogged here in a few days. Basically nothing new. Running is getting easier, but I still hate the heat. Eating is going well. Tomorrow is JJ's birthday party, I'm cooking up a big Mexican feast, but I'll have some healthy options of course, so I'm not too worried.
Over the weekend I visited JJ's grandparents with my brother in law. Granddaddy took me out back to show me how the fruit is coming along. Their grapefruit tree is enormous. Right now it has hundreds of green, baseball sized fruit. He said they'll be ready in October. The orange tree looks good too, the lemon tree is having an off year, not too many. I can't wait to pick them this fall!
On Sunday I'm giving blood at the church blood drive, so Monday might be an off day, I'll run Sunday morning before church. Last time I gave blood it took me longer than normal to recover, so hopefully this time will be better!

Sorry for the rambling... I'll get my thoughts together soon!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A girl with a plan makes fewer mistakes...

So I'm sure tonight I'll be busy or forget to blog and since I didn't write yesterday, I'll double up!

The past few days have been ok. I met with the recuriter on Wednesday and they seemed to be excited about me and possible jobs so we'll see how that goes!
I think I did some sort of DVD on Wednesday... Biggest Loser cardio max maybe on demand...

Yesterday I did Banish Fat/Boost Metabolism. I was ready for a butt kicking, but it was easier than I remembered. Still hard, don't get me wrong, but I didn't feel like I was going to fall over and die.

This morning I ran 28 minutes. My speed is definitely picking up. I'm hoping to just keep it around 3 miles 3-4x per week for the next few months then I'll start adding the distance back on in October to get ready for Thasnkgiving's 10k. Last year my time was 69 minutes, so this year I'm hoping for 64.

Now here's the plan: Tonight we're going out to eat with JJ's cousin and her husband to PF Changs. Now sometimes asian food seems healthy because of the amount of vegetables, but when it's stir-fried and covered in sauce, it's not.
If you look at PF Changs nut. info, it doens't look awful, but many dishes are for 2+ portions! Tricky!
So what I ALWAYS do when I go out is look at the menu online so I know what I'm getting myself into. Tonight's plan is for JJ and I to split the tofu lettuce wraps (270 calories) and I'll get Ma Po Tofu (260 calories for 2/5 of the dish), so I'll eat half or steamed Buddha's Feast (161 for 2/5) with brown rice (109 calories).
Now if I get a beer or wine, I'll go for Buddha's Fest. If I do water, I'll get Ma Po Tofu. Simple as that! It also helps that I tell JJ what my intentions are and then he helps me stay in line. Sometimes I'll even tell him what I want and have him order for me so I don't have the chance to change my mind and get something else.
I'm not so good with making decisions and sticking with them... if you haven't noticed ;)

So anway, I've had a few questions emailed, commented or asked lately. Some of them a few times... so here it goes!

What is the temp/time you run?
Here in FL I run around 7am (sunrise is at 6:50am or so, I don't want to run in the dark) and at 7am it is 78 degrees, feels like 83 with 85% humidity. Ew.
And to follow up, I saw the puppy today in someone's screened in porch, so it got back to it's owner!

What did you do with your big clothes?
I haven't kept a single item of clothing that I've undergrown with the exception of my wedding gown. I think if I kept anything it would be a safety net, and I don't want that. I now prefer to buy cute clothes on sale in a smaller size to keep me motivated.
What do I do with it? I donated it to Goodwill, Amvets, and my mom gave some to people at church. It's a sticky situation because I don't want people to feel bad about themselves for taking my 'fat clothes' so I try to stay removed from it.

Is your name really spelled Ashlee? Why is your name spelled that way?
Yes, Ashlee is how my name has always been spelled. My parents both liked the name but they couldn't agree on Ashley or Ashleigh, so they created their own fun way to spell it.
Sometimes I like having a run of the mill name switched up by the spelling, but it sucks when I want to buy personalized things and can't ever find them.
And don't feel bad if you spell it wrong ever, my Popie, Grandpa and Aunt all do/did.
My favorite was when Popie sent me a card that was addressed to Ashley Weatherton - not even close! Taking on Wetherington complicated my spelling/name even more. Boo, JJ!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sabotage! and so much more...

Today started out like any other. Around 7am Pumpkin and I headed out for our 3 mile run. We got out of the neighborhood and about 1/4 of a mile into it when I noticed something coming towards us. It was a small black animal. We kept running thinking it would leave us alone, but then Pumpkin stopped to pee. The little animal caught up to us and it was....
a freaking Boston Terrier PUPPY!!!
Boston Terrier's are by far my most favorite breed of dogs judged on looks alone. I have no idea why, but I seriously have always wanted a Boston. It was probably 3-4 pounds, brindle black fur with little white paws, the cutest puppy EVER! It came over and got into a crouch like it was going to launch at Pumpkin and barked a tiny little sound. Pumpkin just kind of looked at it like... I'm on a run, go away...
So it had no collar but it had to be someone's puppy... I didn't know what to do! I thought about skipping my run and bringing it home, but I didn't know what I'd do with it at home. I decided Pumpkin and I would go on our run and if it was still there I'd take it home and email the apartment office but when we got back, he was gone.
I'm not going to lie, I was a little bummed about that! But seriously, if I could give up playing with and looking for the owner of a Boston puppy, I should get a medal.

So anyway, the run was good. I did the same loop but finished 2 minutes faster than the last time, so at least I'm getting quicker! Some people have asked, it's about 80 degrees when I run. I'm sure the humidity is 110% I think it takes me 2 hours to stop sweating... not fun!

So moving along, tomorrow I have an interview/meeting thing with an accounting placement/recruiting firm. I'm excited about the prospect of getting a job. The woman I spoke with said they're always looking to place staff accountants, so hopefully I'll get to be a little selective and choose the kind of place and location I want to work.
I'm not really nervous because it's more of a meeting and also now that we're here for good, I want to and need to be selective and not take the first job offered. I want to make sure it's something I really want.
I hope I have the patience to be selective, though!

There's been a lot of buzz about the movie Food, Inc. As much as I'd like to see it, I have a feeling I already know a good deal of the information presented in it, and I just can't watch the scenes where they show the bad things that happen to animals.
If you'd like to read a review, check our Angie's blog.
Like Angie, I try to focus on shopping at Farmer's Markets, but sometimes don't want to make extra trips. However I am going to try to make a habit of going there first. I also always buy organic when possible, and highly encourage the industry.
Many people (including myself) are discouraged from buying organic because of the cost difference. If you think about it from the business sense though, it's simply supply and demand. If everyone started buying organics, more farmers would produce organic goods and the cost would go down. So as much as it sucks to spend an extra $20 per week on organics, I do it because I feel like it's the right thing for the Earth and most importantly my body.

Lastly, I recieved a comment from Kristina of Stonyfield Farm. She said that my beloved Oikos is not in jeopardy of being discontinued (and sorry if I started some kind of rumor, I think my new grocery story store just doesn't sell lots of organic dairy because my milk is also expiring really fast). She also said that they're launching an Oikos muli-pack (yay!!!) and that their coupons are available to print monthly. So if you're a coupon shopper like me, you can print off your Stonyfield Farm coupons each month.
Thanks for the great information, Kristina!

Today's stats are....

Exericse - Run 3 miles and give up a Boston Terrier puppy

Eats - Breakfast - oats, raspberries, coffee

Lunch - yogurt with a peach, cucumber, carrots and zucchini a scapece, cherries

Dinner - vegetarian chili mac and cheese, vegetables

Dessert - Italian ice

And one final comment - Happy 29th Anniversary to my wonderful Mom and Dad! You are wonderful role models for JJ and I :) I love you! ....and sorry I'm a day late on that, your card is in the mail!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Good days!

The weekend was full of fun times and shopping. We're slowly getting everything in order, changed over and taken care of here. Food and exercise were pretty good, I didn't get any runs in but instead did DVDs. Food consumption was very good though!We got a kitchen table and chairs (plus 2 extra) from World Market. Boy do I love that store, I could spend a LOT of money there!Here's the final product:
I have missed not having a dinner table. I love to fix dinner and eat at the table instead of in front of the TV. Especially now that JJ's at work all day, it gives us some time to talk and enjoy eachother's company. I also focus on my food and not anything else, so I have food recognition.

Today I tried out some on demand fit tv shows, The Biggest Loser Boot Camp and a Morning Yoga, about an hour of exercise total. It was a nice change from the shred or other Jillian workouts. I'll probably do a few more during the next few days.
Tomorrow I'm going to get up early and run, hopefully 30 minutes.

I formally announced today that I'm taking orders for my cookbook
I'm so excited about it, it's so cool to see everything I've written and photographed in print!

Today's Exercise - Biggest Loser Bootcamp, Morning Yoga

Today's Eats- Breakfast - oats, raspberries, milk, coffee
Lunch - yogurt with peach, cucumber and carrots
snack - cherries
dinner - salad, eggplant calzone
i think there's a chance i'll have an italian ice or get some sorbet for dessert soon...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'm a trooper! and a Stonyfield Farm open letter

Sometimes people ask me how I do what I'm doing, how I just keep going and basically, I like to cut the crap, face the facts, and push through. When I was going through reconstructive jaw surgery 8 years ago, my mom said I took it like a trooper! I try to keep that mindset when I'm running and working out.
Of course I have my breakdown moments, but for the most part I try push through weight loss like a trooper. I don't need to be babied, I don't need a gentle push, I like the cold hard facts and the blatent truth when it comes to health and fitness.
That being said, Pumpkin is nothing like her mom... Since we moved here, she's pretty much been hiding under the couch and table.

So anyway, today was a great day. It was sort of an off day, but an off day still in check.
I had tons of errands to run and we had a dinner party, so I took the day off from exercise and I ate a little more than normal.
Breakfast: Oats, raspberries, milk - no coffee!!! (i'm trying to cut caffeine way down/out)
Lunch: Oikos Honey, Peach
Dinner: Salad, Zucchini and Carrots Scapece (see blog), Fresh pasta marinara and a brownie with vanilla ice cream....oh, and about a bottle of red wine
And to close, an open letter to Stonyfield Farm!

When you contacted me a few months ago about trying Oikos fat-free organic greek yogurt, I was really excited. When you sent the reusuable bag as well, I was elated. I'm definitely a fan and consumer for life.

However, it has come to my attention that Oikos Honey seems to always be on sale and not clearing off the shelves because the expiration date is always soon when I buy it. This scares me. I'd give my right arm for honey oikos every day. Even though I'm currently unemployed because I moved, I forego Starbucks 2x per week so I can have Oikos Honey Yogurt.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't discontinue it. Please.

And if you do, please tell me how you make the honey mixture at the bottom.

Love and happy cows,

Ashlee Wetherington

P.S. I signed up to get e-coupons, but have only ever gotten 1... do I need to sign up every week to get a 50 cents off 1 oikos coupon?

Friday, August 7, 2009

We're not in Indiana anymore, Pumpkin....

Sometimes I feel like I'm living on another planet now.
In Indiana on my runs, I'd run into deer, groundhogs, geese and squirrels.
Today I witnessed my first armadillo. There are a million little lizards all over, I saw a turtle on the sidewalk, and the seagulls are everywhere... it's weird.
Pumpkin had no clue how to react to the armadillo we ran past today... it was entertaining!

Well, JJ and I just finish putting together our new dining table and 6 chairs, my fingers and back hurt, so this is going to be short and sweet!

Today was great as far as exercise and food goes...
Exercise - 30 minute run
Eats - breakfast - oatmeal, blueberries, coffee
lunch - tomato soup, yogurt with a peach, carrots, cucumber
snack - cherries
dinner - vegetarian burrito
dessert - Italian ice

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I thew away my scale...

Yep, I threw it out.

Here's the thing, I don't save stuff. If I don't want/use/need something, I throw it out. When we were moving, JJ pulled my scale out and asked where to pack it. I said um... throw it out.
It had been a while since I'd weighed myself anyway, and I had been thinking about it for a while... why should I weight myself every morning and obsesses over the number? I used to let it rule my day. I'd wake up feeling great, then weigh myself, see no loss, and be bummed.
The truth of the matter is you don't need a scale to tell you how you're doing... you can feel it. The way your clothes fit, the definition in your arms, stomach, legs, etc. You know if you're doing well in your diet and fitness, you don't need a scale to justify that!

So I decided to let it go.
I'm sure I'll weigh myself at some point... but for now, I'd rather focus on hitting the next pants size and going on runs because I want to, not because I'm half a pound up from yesterday or need to lose two by Friday.
I feel free :)

However, I was planning on blowing up my scale... or burning it... or something like that when I hit my -100 lb. mark. Maybe I'll just go to goodwill and buy one to do that! I know I'm doing well, I can feel it, I can see it.... which brings me to this....

my new pantry is 2 full length mirrored doors. Everytime I step into the kitchen, I have to first look at my body in it's entirety.
Scary! but effective.
When I want to reach for a spoonful of peanut butter, I see myself... and then I change my mind!
It's actually pretty amazing at how well it works.

So today was a pretty good day. I bought some stuff to make a light box for my food blog, and I spent a long time wandering around the grocery store. I'm probably going to do part of my shopping at Publix and part at Whole Foods. I'd love to shop solely at Whole Foods, but it's so expensive for some things... but then so cheap for some. Luckily I know my grocery prices well, so I know what to get at each store.
The Publix is nice, new, and carries tons of their Greenwise products (organic, natural, etc.) so I'm pretty happy with that. It's interesting to see what is more expensive here vs. Indiana... like some produce is quite a bit more expensive here - I don't get it! But then my King Arthur whole wheat flour was $5.99 in Indiana and only $3.89 here! Yay!

Let's get to the recap from today...
Exercise - Shred Level 2.
I had intended on running 30 minutes, but when I woke up, I had such a sore throat and felt like I was underwater... I'm thinking I have a sinus infection. It was pretty unfortunate timing for this because when I walked Pumpkin at 7am, it was really cool out. Oh well, tomorrow will hopefully be 30 minutes of running and shred 3.

Eats - Todaywas a good day!
Breakfast - Oats, blueberries, milk and coffee
Lunch - Yogurt with a peach, carrot sticks and 1/2 english cucumber, tomato soup
Dinner - Salad, Grilled Ratatouille Pizza
Dessert - Italian ice and probably some cherries later

JJ gets in tonight at 9:30, everything went well with the thesis! This weekend we're going to look for a new kitchen table - yay!
And I had 2 people follow up with job things this afternoon - yay!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rough day...

Today was pretty rough. I had to take JJ to the airport at 6am, so I was pretty tired today. Since we just moved in and he had to leave for a night already, I've done a little stress/emotional eating.

Exercise: No more trouble zones DVD

Breakfast - oats, milk, blueberries, coffee
Lunch - Yogurt, peach, banana, cucumber, tomato soup
Dinner - 2 Boca patties, 2 servings of Mustard Glazed Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
Dessert - Cherries, way too many...
Throughout the day - 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter (sorry, JJ), a bowl of cereal, a few more spoonfuls of yogurt

I applied to 5 more jobs, keep your fingers crossed that I get something! Sitting home all day is not good for my mental state :(
Hopefully I can get up to 30 minutes running tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Today was really hard on me. As the days go by and I haven't found a job, I get more and more worried and depressed. I hate not working! I try to keep busy, but mostly I just watch TV and look for jobs online. So far I've not fallen into the trap of eating out of boredom, but today I sort of did.
As many of you know, I'm publishing a cookbook, which is in the editing stages. My lovely editor (and sister) tried one of my recipes and said it didn't come out right, so I got right into the kitchen and tested it. Well that lovely recipe was chocolate chip scones... granted they're a lighter version of scones, but still... I had to taste test one...
Anything to get my cookbook perfect :)

So here's the stats for today

Exercise - 25 minute run (about 2.5 miles)

Eats - Breakfast: 1/4 c. steel cut oats, 1 c. water, 1/4 c. blueberries, splash of milk, coffee
Lunch: 1 c. organic tomato soup, 1/2 english cucumber, 1 c. plain yogurt and a chopped peach
Snack: Chocolate chip scone
Dinner: Provencal Stuffed Portabello, Baked Arancini di Riso
Dessert: Cherries

Monday, August 3, 2009

How I spent my Monday...

The apartment JJ and I moved into is in a pretty congested area of Jacksonville, so I was worried about running around home. Luckily we're attached to a business park that has sidewalks! I found a 3 mile route around home that I'll most likely be running until it cools down and I'm more inclined to take longer runs.
The first run I did here was at 11am, and it was already 90 degrees. It was the worst run ever, not only was it hot, but SO humid! I did about 15 minutes, and was dying. I also haven't been running as much, so it wasn't a shock that I crapped out so fast.
On Saturday, I ran around 6:30am, it was around 80 degrees, and I did 19 minutes before I felt like I was going to die. The worst part is when I breathe I feel like I'm in the hot shower, and not in a good way!
This morning, I did a 22 minute run around 7am. It was still pretty hard, but it's getting easier. Pumpkin is doing ok with it, but I can tell when I'm ready to stop, so is she!
When I got home, I did the shred level 3. Though it wasn't one of my hardest workouts, it was a challenge. It's definitely going to take some time to get used to this weather... and luckily it will get cooloer eventually.

As of right now, if I can make it, the plan is to run a 15k in March. It's in downtown Jacksonville, and it's the biggest 15k in the country! I'm really excited about it, I'll have ample time to train and the winters here will be perfect running weather. And the Thanksgiving Day 10k will be a good beginning to working up to 15k. I know I can do it, it's just getting my long runs in, but I'll have some time to start finding good places to run in the next few months.

Today was a great eating day!
Breakfast: 1/4 c. steel cut oats in 1 c. water, splash of organic 1% milk and handful of blueberries, coffee with milk and 1 tsp. organic cane sugar
Lunch: 1 c. plain organic yogurt with a chopped up peach and 1 tbsp. wheat germ, 12 baby carrots and 1/2 english cucumber with asian ginger dressing
Snack: Iced grande soy latte from Starbucks
Dinner: Roasted Moroccan Veggies with Sundried Tomato Cous Cous
Dessert: 25 cherries

Daily Activities:
Run 22 minutes
30 Day Shred Level 3
Walk on the beach.... first time I've been since I moved here!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I'm baaaaaaack!!!

So it's been about 6 weeks since I stopped blogging. I've done a lot of thinking and soul seraching to decide if and how I'd carry on.

I received so many heartfelt comments, emails, and so much encouragement from you!

As the day approaches that was supposed to be the end of the 20/20 Challenge, I've been really sad and a little embarassed. At times I feel like I let the group down, but it really just got to be too big and too hard to track. As many of you know, I was going through a move and some big changes in life during the challenge time. So it turns out it works much better for me to do things on my own. I thought I needed a big group to help support me through the last 20 lbs., but instead it was intimidating and stressful! I kind of went from being everyone's cheerleader to leaving the blog and hiding.
So now I'm in a scary, new, but good place in life. I moved 1000 miles away to Jacksonville, FL. I'm going to a new church, looking for a new job, meeting new people, and I'm feeling really free and refreshed. I feel like I'm prepared to be on my own again and lose the last 20-ish pounds.

It's going to be especially hard because it's HOT here, and running is much more difficult for me, so I'm going to have to focus more on other forms of exercise and keeping my food in check. I've also at this time decided to go back to vegetarianism. It's something I've been struggling with for a long, long time. If I was single and on my own, I would be. If you're a year in the kitchen reader, you'll still see some meaty meals because I'll make it for JJ and company.

So the plan is to hopefully get daily posts up with my food intake and exercise. Maybe I'll get some more fitness and health information in too! It just depends on how crazy things get when I start a new job and such. We'll see!

I hope you all welcome me back with open arms, I have missed blogging SO much on this and my food blog...

And to start this new adventure, I chopped off 10 inches of hair.... eek!

So to wrap this up, I was tagged by Meredith, and now I must list 6 of my favorite things... so here we go!

1. My husband, JJ! I don't really think I need to elaborate on how awesome he is and how much
I love him. 2. Pumpkin Spice! Again, everyone knows how much I love her :)3. My family. My family is wonderful... so supportive, loving and fantastic! 4. Ohio State Buckeyes Football!!! Thank goodness our all inclusive Comcast package in Florida carries the Big 10 Network!!! I was worried I'd only catch a couple games this season. Watching the Buckeyes makes me feel like I'm not so far from home :) 5. Food Shopping! It is probably the thing I look forward to the most. On Saturday mornings, I get out of bed so early because I can't wait to go food shopping. I love menu planning and getting there when it opens so it's empty and I have the whole store to myself. I wander down each aisle and spend about 2 hours doing my weekly food shop!6. Reading, especially Twilight :) I cannot wait for November 20 :) :) :) I'm looking forward to a long afternoon at the pool tomorrow reading my newest book, Chasing Harry Winston!