Meaningful Maintenance rant…

What’s a “meaningful maintenance rant”?  Good question–begin rant here.

Maintaining my “healthy weight” has been just as big as a challenge as shedding the original 170lbs!  NO JOKE.  It’s easy to slip into the mindset of “I got this…I know what I’m doing…I’m FIXED…” and they go on.  TRUTH is, none of that is accurate or appropriate!  Maintenance is hard.  That’s probably why the percent of people who reach their goal weight and maintain it long term is lower than 5%.  CRAZY right??? We see these success stories all the time in media, on reality shows, and social media posts!  I know, I got caught as one myself.  But in doing that I started to lose focus on myself and my own well being.  Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about “not being fat” anymore.  Truth be told, a part of my mind still thinks/sees me as that 345+ lbs girl.

Tonight I did something I hadn’t done in a long time until this year.  Stress, lack of sleep, burn out, etc. got the best of me and I at anything that was edible and not nailed down.  Didn’t really like (or have) much at my house so I went over to my parents house to eat there.  I was tracking in the beginning of my day, even knowing that I was going to go well over my WeightWatchers daily PointsPlus target for the day.  But when I left my house, it was all bets off.  I ate to until the point where my head hurt, hurt to the point were it felt like the roots of my hair were being pulled out of my head.  Like my hair had 5lb weight attached to each strand.  It was pounding, my eye sockets felt swollen.  My mouth was dry and the taste in it was less than appetizing.  My throat even felt raw like I was getting a sore throat.  My ears felt like I was getting an ear infection and at one point I had a weird back feed like sound echoing in them.  Note, we’re still on just my head.  I wanted to take a pill for it but stopped myself.  Why?  Because I realized I wanted the pill for the same reason I wanted the food.  I wanted to stop feeling the pain.

Shall we go on?  My chest felt heavy. My belly felt bloated and the more I ate the more it felt like I had a big balloon in there filling up with helium gas.  I think i could feel my stomach getting so full with food that it was pushing my other organs out of the way and up to high parts inside my rib cage.  I felt tight and I was wearing yoga like pants…those “give” a lot and so the fact that I felt constricted in them is beyond a bad sign.  All this extra food weight made my legs feel like they couldn’t support the rest of my body.  My knees started to ache already like I’d instantly added 10lbs.

At one point I felt like if I could just stick my finger—NOPE! Stop.  That thought was just as bad/hurtful as the idea of me eating to make my feelings go away.  Both just as damaging even at opposite ends of the spectrum.  I turned to my 48oz water bottle and started sipping away.  Something had to help me end this slippery slope!  It all felt like an instant hangover.  Which with the drinking bouts I had in my younger days, I swore I’d never drink to that point again because of how miserable that feels.

I share this graphic thought process because I know I’m not alone out there in doing this.  I know because others are just as honest as I am about the struggle to be healthy.  This is not just about calories in versus calories out.  This goes much deeper.  I knew when I had satisfied my food as fuel need.  I went on for hours more of intermittent eating though.  I woke up tired, not wanting to get up out of bed this morning–not sure why.  I never made my bed (which is unusual for me) and to top it off, I walked less steps today than I did yesterday (and even if you added up both days, I still wouldn’t total up to 10K steps).

It’s 10pm PT now and I haven’t put food in my mouth for about two hours.  I’ve showered.  I’ ve continued to sip my water and my headache has reduced to a minor/dull ache.  I tracked (what I could remember) what I ate and pre-tracked for Saturday.  I’ve already declared it a new day and fresh start.  What bothered me so much that I did this? Good question.  Still haven’t answered that.  But i’ll get there.  Maybe a look into my “burn book” (more on that in my next post) will clue me in on what is “weighing me down.”

From one food addict to one who hasn’t realized they are one….

Food isn’t the answer.  You first have to know the question you are asking in order to find your answer.  STOP, PAUSE, REFLECT, ASK…be mindful to what is going on in you, around you, about you…you have the answer…the answer is in your heart.  So now I say good night.  I’m disconnecting for now to do that for myself.

Thank you and in good health,

Andrea

Food Musts for your RnRSF ‘Runcation’

All right, we are less than a week away from our race day and it’s time to talk fun!  Most of the runners I know train hard and play equally so!  This is why our races give you free beer at the finish line–**ahem** ALL the Rock n Roll series! So have you planned your non-run related outings while you are in San Francisco this weekend?  Where are you eating post 13.1?

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But seriously, I don’t run to eat (like the illustration) I eat to enhance my running. I’m also a foodie and I enjoy indulgent food even more now since I’ve started running.  Why? Well it’s taught me that while I’m training I need to fuel my body to support my performance–healthy, clean and natural food. Being that many runners (myself included) are always in a state of training, race weekends tend to be my runcations (race vacations) and I allow myself at least one indulgent meal.  If the San Francisco Rock ‘n’ Roll is going to be a “runcation” for you, I’d like to point you in the direction of some must eat spots while you are here!

Breakfast/Brunch:

Louis’ Cafe is actually just north of our race route along the Great Highway. It has a scenic view of the Pacific Ocean and tasty all American food with some local specialties–like their Dungeons crab Benedict! Note they are a cash only location so hit the ATM before you go!

Just for You Cafe is well off our race route but still a tasty detour! Its authentic Southern fare is a hidden gem in SF’s Dog Patch neighborhood—if Chicory coffee and fluffy beignets are your thing then you don’t want to miss this place!

The Ramp is the place to see and be seen in SF. Just south of AT&T park (Home of the SF Giants) this hidden shack-like eatery is mostly patio seating with a full bar. If it’s sunny, then expect a long wait to get a table!  But they have some good brunch cocktails to hold you over while you wait!

Blue Bottle is some of the best coffee you’ll find in The City. They have their own store front in the Ferry Building and a number of other SF locations. It’s bold, smooth and good to the last drop! We start early so this may be a good stop post 13.1!

SF Ferry Building Farmers Market is bustling on any Saturday especially if the weather cooperates! You are smart if you get out there early but there’s still plenty to see if you are looking forward to sleep in at least one of your mornings. My recommendation is to do a walk through first–it’s a big spread that starts in front of the building, wraps around the right side and takes over the back area behind the building. Vendors vary from produce, fresh proteins, sweets, and local eateries! One of my favorites is the lavender lemonade from Happy Girl Kitchen, it’s refreshing and sure to quench your thirst! 4505 Meats usually has some unique and tasty breakfast options while the oyster po’boy from (add their bacon, or eat the bacon on the side) Hayes Street Grill (they are usually right across from Happy Girl)!

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Lunch:

Pier 23 is a long-time “fixture” along the SF water front.  Just north of the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero sits a small one level building with plenty of patio seating where you can enjoy our SF sunshine!  They have an awesome crab sandwich and a full bar with tasty brunch drinks as well!  The old time photo of the cowgirls in nothing but their hats and boots is also located here. 😉

Plouf is my new favorite French spot! It’s located on Beldin Lane which is lined with eateries along the border of the Financial District and Chinatown. You definitely have to try their tar tar starter and share one of their many versions of their mussels–ask for extra bread, you won’t want any of that sauce to go to waste!

La Corneta is the south of the border stop you can’t miss!  Running 13.1 miles can work up an appetite, their super burrito will satisfy any size hunger you walk in with!  My favorite is their steak and shrimp burrito–surf and turf baby, and go supreme!  Perfect to fill you up after a long run!  They have a number of locations in the Bay Area including the Glen Park neighborhood in SF.

Gott’s may be one of the more expensive burger joints you visit but it’s pays off in taste, creativity and quality!  I often try to order something different any time I go. Their original location (originally called Taylor’s) has been a staple up in wine country where it’s drive-up and picnic style seating only. During any time of the year you go, it’s always busy!  That alone should tell you how good this place is. Lucky for us, they opened up a location in the Ferry Building not too long ago!  Try any kind of burger and you can’t really go wrong–ahi tuna, Texas, etc! Their milkshakes are tasty too–too bad they don’t have an “adult” style shake on their regular menu. Just look for the big red G!

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Snacks/Sweet Treats  :

DeLise is a sweet heaven on earth! This hidden gem is located just a few blocks from Pier 39 on Bay Street (@ Powell). Her menu has some staples but also some great seasonal items like the miso rice crispy treat, Peking duck scones, chocolate stout ice cream, etc! If you have a sweet tooth, you MUST stop here!

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Liguria Bakery is the heart of North Beach (the Italian neighborhood of SF). So while you are waiting in line at Mama’s for breakfast or  zig zagging your way down Lombard Street, swing by Liguria (on the corner of Stockton and Filbert Sts.) but don’t look for their sign they don’t have one!  They are the original owners–as they say the ovens don’t move but you’d wish they did after tasting their focaccia!  They are closed Sundays/Mondays and when they run out of product (and they WILL) they close their doors for the rest of the day, so your best to get there early!  Don’t underestimate their plain focaccia, it’s my favorite, as is their pizza!

La Boulange isn’t exactly an old staple to SF and yes some of their products can be found in your local Starbucks but one item in particular can only be found at their stores!  They chocolate hazelnut croissant is AMAZING!! No, it’s not a Nutella filled croissant, they purée the hazelnuts and combine it with chocolate in a buttery flaky croissant, get it toasted! They have tasty coffee too!

Mitchell’s is another “worth the wait” SF eatery!  Take a number and peruse their menu of good ol’ and unique flavors–Mexican chocolate to grasshopper pie (kinda like those minty cookies those girls sell once a year). Perfect for any weather we get in SF!

Dinner:

Coqueta is one reservation you better make now!  Spanish tapas are a big thing as of late and Croqueta serves them up in a rustic yet upscale setting. Start with some of their small plates and then finish with some sangria and family style paella! But seriously, make your reservation now!  It’s still “shiny and new” for us here and so everyone wants to go!

Cha Cha Cha set in the SF’s Mission District and one of the neighborhood staples!  It’s another tapas style menu (small plates) so it’s fun setting to fill your table with lots of tasty treats!  Everyone will advise you to try their plantains and they are right!  Go for it!  And then if you feel bad for eating any of it, just dance it off!

Lark Creek shouldn’t be counted out just because it’s located in the Westfield Center.  It is your place for steak—always a nice post run treat–and don’t overlook their seafood entrees!  One of SF’s staples is the Dungness crab and LC serves it up in style!  Lastly, PLEASE do yourself a favor and save room for dessert; specifically the chocolate creamux! It light and rich all at the same time, take it in with a bit of the salted caramel sauce a crunchy crumble that accompanies it and you’ll thank me for that little bite of heaven on earth!

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Bars with Food

Mikkeller is a great gastro pub hidden on the outskirts of Union Square and not far at all from our finish line! Their beer menu is longer than their food menu but the food they do have, they do it well!  Go ahead and try their bacon wrapped pups (it’s protein 🙂 )! But when in Rome…so go for their wings platter as well!  My advice would be to walk or cab it there so you can enjoy more than one of their beers that they have on tap–by the way, it’s all on tap!

Giordano Bros is Pittsburgh in SF’s little Italy! Who needs sides though when those Burghs put it all in one sando! Your first thought may be “fries in my sandwich?!” But don’t knock it til you try it!  You can get just about any kind of meat you want–steak, turkey, sausage, pastrami, etc., but the rest remains the same! Beer is good and so are their wings.  Small joint but enough TVs to show any sports event you could want! Fun staff too–they also have a location in the Mission District.

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There’s no way you’ll leave San Francisco hungry with this guide! And no regrets, you just ran 13.1 miles!