Monday, May 14, 2012

My Just Do It Summer and new blog kickoff

Twice last week I did interviews with people who said mid-conversation, "You know, I followed you through your entire 'Fight to be Fit' campaign last year. I just loved it." It's amazing to me the impact that column had in the Mankato community. At the end of the summer it will be a year since that campaign ended. It just goes to show you that admitting one's flaws, and being able to laugh at them to boot, truly resonates with people. We're all underdogs in one way or another.

I lost a total of 75 pounds last year, and I've been gaining and losing the same 15 pounds ever since January. I've been totally fine with that. It was around that time that I started running and concentrating on that new fitness hobby. I've said it before, but I've never felt that level of pride in anything I've done before. It's something I didn't think I could do. So when you prove yourself wrong in that way, there's no feeling like it.

The food, on the other hand, sort of fell by the wayside while I was focusing on running. Which is why I started the all-natural "real food" experiment a few weeks ago. I've been surprised by one thing since I started eating foods with pronounceable ingredients: It's not a hassle. Not at all, actually. I pictured myself spending ages in the grocery store trying to find foods that didn't contain white flour, sugar and preservatives. But, folks, they're everywhere. Whole grain pastas, whole wheat bread, fruit preserves, vegetables and fruits of every color. I'm cooking a lot more than I ever have and really enjoying it. Rachael Ray has been a godsend. I used to think of her as the fattening pasta and cheese chef, but if you watch enough of her shows and read her magazine, you'll notice that she makes everything from scratch, so there are healthy ingredients in all of her meals. I've cut down on the amount of cheese she manages to put into every meal, but other than that, she's been a great go-to when I want to know what to make.

I've also been surprised that eating this way isn't boring. The above photo is a meal from Sunday. I grated garlic and onion into lean beef and added some worcesershire sauce. I grilled the patties and topped them with sharp cheddar, Swiss, tomato, spinach and a smoky BBQ sauce on a whole wheat bun. The salad is just a mix of what I had left in the fridge. A meal with so many colors is actually really fun to eat. And when you take the time to prepare a meal and then sit down to eat it, it'll do you for the night. I don't get so peckish around 8 p.m. or so.

However, I haven't been running as much. And the whole point of the "real food" experiment was to see what effects it would have on my body and how I feel when I run.

So it's time for a reboot.

We'll call the past few weeks of "real food" eating practice for what I'm calling my Just Do It Summer. I have started a new and temporary blog called, you guessed it, My Just Do It Summer. The premise will be: to run absolutely every day, to eat all-natural foods, and to record the process.

I will post each day what I've eaten, including amazing recipes that I know you will love to make, too. And I will record that day's run and how it went. I will also link to my Daily Mile account for extra details on that day's workout.

For the next several months, I hope this will be a little bit of a return to my Fight to be Fit that so many readers enjoyed, but this time with a focus on healthy living and less on the scale, although hopefully, if I do this right, that will come into play too.

So if you enjoyed my weight-loss entries last year, I hope you will check out My Just Do it Summer at! I posted a little intro already today. And tonight I will post today's workout and meals. Woo! Let's do this!

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