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Posted on Nov 12, 2010 in Dear Diary, Working Out | 5 comments

Morning Routines and a Few Lessons Learned

So Anne P. is doing a giveaway on her blog for Quaker’s Amazing Morning Kit, which is a really sweet box of things that are supposed to help you start your day right. I obviously want to win said giveaway because the kit has some really awesome stuff (yoga mat!) in it, but in a bigger-picture sort of way it also just got me started thinking about my morning routine in general.

When I started my weight loss journey back in August, I had established a pretty solid routine. Woke up, showered, took care of the pupsters, got some breakfast in there (even if I had to force myself to eat it, I was still downing some oats or yogurt or something) and was off to the races! Since time has gone on, along with the added influence of shorter, colder, darker days, I’ve been getting admittedly complacent. I do still eat a little something first thing in the morning (most of the time) because otherwise I am ravenous by lunchtime and will make poorer choices. However, I’m not getting the filling, wholesome breakfast that I know I should. You hear that breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, and that contrary to popular custom, it should also be the biggest meal of the day. I’m not exactly sure what the facts behind that reasoning are, so if you do know something about it feel free to enlighten me. That being said, I do think that it’s an effective way to ensure that you’re able to make better food choices for lunch and dinner if you start off the day satiated.

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day, so I had the day off. As such, I tried to sleep in (as much as Daxter would let me, that little devil) and as such, I ended up with a really wonked out schedule. In fact, I didn’t really get out of bed until 10 AM, and then didn’t eat anything until 1 PM. The Old Gretchen used to have the habit of regularly not eating anything until noon or later, and I don’t know if that was a contributing factor to my weight gain or not, but I just know that I don’t want to slip back into any Old Gretchen habits.

So I’m finding today I’m in a sort of no-man’s land between Old and New Gretchen. This morning when I woke up, I dragged myself out of bed and proceeded to stare into my pantry for a solid 4 minutes while the dogs were, er, taking care of business in the backyard. I finally decided that yes, I would eat something. And just what did I end up consuming for breakfast, the most important meal of the day, you may ask?

One plain Whole Wheat Eggo waffle
One spoonful of mint chocolate chip ice cream
Seven raw almonds
One cup of pumpkin spice coffee from the Keurig at work

Ummmmm… yeah.  Who am I? I bypassed the giant bag of raw oats and english muffins that I have in the pantry, the greek yogurt and almond butter in the fridge for that? Maybe I’m bored with eating the same things now? Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons or Daylight Savings Time messing with me? But if anyone has any suggestions for how to revamp my morning routine so that I’m actually staying on track, I would really appreciate it. I want to be able to do this right, to stay the course, to keep setting myself up for diet success, but I’m not really doing that, am I?

Speaking of staying on track, I’m trying to literally get back on track for the upcoming SOME Thanksgiving Trot for Hunger 5K that I am running on Thanksgiving Day. The whole kidney stones debacle put a serious dent in my training schedule, so I’m just trying to make up some lost time. So Wednesday I went for a run on the treadmill and banged out 1.5 miles nonstop. I was hoping to get up to 2 miles, but I developed a side-stitch pretty early on that was right where my kidney stone pain had been the week before, so I couldn’t will myself to press on after a while. I guess I needed to stretch more? Not really sure, I’m still quite the running neophyte.

Anyway, yesterday I decided to go for a very short run outside because I really need to start accustoming myself to running outdoors (that 5K ain’t gonna be on a treadmill!) It’s only 0.6 miles from my house to my parents’, but in those 0.6 miles I learned a few very valuable lessons:

Lesson #1: I have no idea how to pace myself when running outdoors. I definitely took off way too fast, and wanted to die after like, 2 blocks. Bad, bad Gretchen. On my sister’s recommendation I downloaded the Runkeeper app for my iPhone so hopefully that will give me something to base my pace off of in the future.

Lesson #2: Cold air ruins my life (and my throat.) I went out for my jog around 7 PM, and it was frigid outside. After just a couple minutes, my throat was burning like a brothertrucker from sucking in the cold, winter air. I guess I just need to always breathe through my nose? How do I combat this? I was swallowing mucous for an hour after I got to my parents’ house, too (TMI? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.)

Lesson #3: Pants falling down makes running even more miserable (as if it were possible.) The UnderArmour capris that my sister got me a couple months ago do NOT want to stay up outside. Even though I wore them the day before in the gym and didn’t have any problems with them slipping down, apparently all bets are off when it comes to running outside. Does my body expand in the gym or something? I don’t get it! Admittedly, they might be a size too big now anyway (though they weren’t when she got them for me – yay for progress!) but since they’re compression capris (read: meant to be super tight) I figured it was okay. Maybe not so much now. Might need to convince sissypoo for another pair ::winkwinknudgenudge:: 😉

Conversely, the UA Escape Longsleeve 1/4 Zip that she got me just last week worked out great. It’s super thin and lightweight, but keeps your surprisingly warm (I layered it over my Victory Burnout T – yes, I was a walking, er, running UnderArmour ad, hahaha.) I’m definitely going to wear it for the 5K. My fingers were freezing though. Is there such a thing as running gloves? Or running mittens? I’m a big mitten fan. 🙂

Okay, enough product placement, hehe. Final lesson that I learned last night: running outside is soooooo hard! I still have high hopes for the 5K, but I’m becoming less confident about it too… well, can’t psych myself out about it. Need to stay positive! I hope everyone has some fun weekend plans (or not! My favorite weekends consist of lounging and laying and dog-park-going.) My friend’s cover band, Flow in the Dark, is playing a show tonight at the Tortoise and Hare bar in Crystal City, so if anybody is looking for some good times tonight, come on out!


  1. Certainly agree that there is a huge diff between running on machines and actually hitting the pavement. Keep up the effort… Make it a jog pace as opposed to a real speed run! Proud of your ongoing efforts and PROGRESS!!!

  2. The trick to staying interested in breakfast is to mix it up- english muffins with peanut butter, cereal, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, fruit and yogurt! Don’t fall back into old habits- you’ve come so far! We will get you some better Under Armour pants that don’t fall down and yes, for your information they do make actual running gloves that dump out the heat as you sweat 🙂 We make everything to do with the sport of running!

  3. I heart running gloves – get some! Also – running outside may be harder, but it’s also WAY more fun! There’s stuff to look at, there’s a nice refreshing breeze/sunshine (hopefully), etc. I hate running on the treadmill and I’m impressed you have been doing all your runs on it so far! Stick with it – the 5k will be a blast 🙂

    Oh, and make my pumpkin pie oatmeal. 🙂

  4. You are supposed to eat the most in the morning because your body has all day to digest and use it, instead of later on when your about to go to sleep and your body slows. Keep it up, you are doing great. Try to find a new motivation, always have small goals in mind. Example: I’m going to a wedding in December and I want to look nice in the dress.

  5. I love mittens:)

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