Happy Halloween!

snoopyIs Halloween something you enjoy or dread? I mostly love it. I get a kick out of seeing the kids in their costumes and their excitement. I can live without the eggs & shaving cream, especially when tossed at vehicles or when Missy is trying to eat them the next day.

The candy is no longer a big part of the holiday for me but I know how it can be. When I was on Weight Watchers I started buying candy I didn’t like so I wouldn’t be tempted by it. That worked pretty well, even if I tried a piece I generally wouldn’t dive headfirst into the bowl of treats. If I wanted something I bought a small portion of it and enjoyed it.

If skipping the candy makes you feel deprived then have some. Eat what you want and  enjoy it; eat some real food as well and drink water so you counteract the sugar. Then tomorrow get rid of it. The holiday is over and it’s time to get back on track. Have a healthy breakfast, continue drinking a lot of water, exercise and eat vegetables. (Your body will thank you).

You can throw the candy out, donate it to the troops or find a dentist who buys it back. And if you’re having a hard time getting rid of it remember it’s not like you can’t have it ever again. There really isn’t any reason to hoard a stash, you can always buy candy when you want it.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!


What is the Story You are Telling Yourself?

weightlossblogWhat is holding you back? Lately I’ve been hearing: “I was told I have a problem and I should change my diet but it’s too hard.” “I can’t follow something where I can’t eat bread  (or cheese or whatever).” “I eat really healthy but I’ve gained weight.” “I could never run a half (or full) marathon.” “I know I need to lose weight but I’m afraid I’ll fail.”

We tell ourselves a lot of stories and we start to believe these stories as facts. Yes, changing your diet or thinking of training for a marathon can seem overwhelming. It’s daunting when you aren’t sure where to begin. This is where it helps to not look at the whole picture but simply the first two or three steps you need to take.

If you need to go gluten-free pick 2 things to change and work on that for two weeks. If you want to train for a race and you don’t run find a walk to run program that works for you. Need to lose weight? Be honest with yourself and really look at what you’re eating throughout the entire day.

You can make changes on your own, you can get a friend to help or you can work with a coach. Can you do it yourself? Absolutely. Would help get you there more quickly? Without a doubt. A friend can help you with accountability and support. A coach can get you to your goals faster by having the knowledge, helping you to change your mindset, holding you accountable and lending support. Few major athletes work without a coach because they know they’ll get better results with one.

I didn’t lose 50 pounds alone or train for my first half-marathon alone. Both times I had coaches and support to get me the results I wanted. When I felt it as too hard or I couldn’t make it I had support and some nudges. Best of all, I had steps to take and a plan to follow.

Do you need help taking those steps? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to help you put an action plan together.


What Went Right Race Day? Why I Felt So Good.

SI halfMy race went really well, despite my low expectations. A day or two before the race I decided to heck with it, I don’t care if I walk or if it’s not a great race. I’ll finish it and whatever happens so be it.

I slept really well the night before, which never happens. It’s honestly the first time I slept well before a half marathon. No lying awake or taking baths in the hopes of relaxing. It was nice to feel good on race morning. (the above photo is my team, I’m the second face from the left).

I forgot my Ipod which had me a bit worried, I’d never run a half without it. I figured I’d run with my friends and chat to distract myself. I started out running with them but after a few miles my pace was slightly faster and I ended up doing my own thing. I remembered to eat a few Honey Stinger chews before feeling tired and took water at every stop but one.

By the turnaround at 7.5 I felt good, at mile 8 I thought – hey I’m going to do this. I had no idea what my pace was at that point, I have to change the setting on my watch. It’s a hilly course and I did walk/run the monster hill until someone tried humor talking me up it. I called it my bitch and just full on ran the rest of it. It was mile 9 and the wind was kicking off the beach so I was feeling feisty.

By the finish I had enough gas in the tank to charge down the ramp while keeping my coach’s instructions in my head: stay inside, bank wide and run hard. I didn’t PR but my finish was darn close to my PR. I was proud and happy.

What did I learn? I do best when I’m relaxed and rested. I don’t need the music but I do like to chat along the way. I can stick with water as long as I have electrolyte chews and to push it when it feels good to do so.

Do you need help in reaching your goals? Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to set up a power consultation session. Together we’ll come up with a personalized plan that works for your busy life.

Race Day Approaches – Silencing the Chatter

Nike finishMy 7th half-marathon is Sunday. It’s in my home town and I’ve been kind of dreading it. I’ve run most of the course at once and I have definitely run all parts of it at different times. So runs that I’ve had on hot humid days when I felt beat and had horrible runs come popping into my brain, trying to psyche me out.

Self-doubt, sabotage or trash talk – call it what you will it’s still real. I’m really good at pumping others up. I’m told I have a comeback for every negative thing someone says. Of course I do, I work at countering the annoying voice in my own head.

I’ve run 6 other half-marathons and finished them all. In all but one I’ve been a middle of the pack runner. I’m pretty happy with that actually. And the one race where I was a back of the pack runner was a very small race. I still finished faster than I had at my two previous marathons and I had been using it as a training run for my “real” half-marathon the following month.

I’ve fallen, have people run into me or stop abruptly in front of me at almost every race (even when I wore bright orange and tutu in the picture above – how the hell could this woman not see me)?, had the water station close before I got to it and been nauseous. I have still finished.

So now I tell myself: you have put in the training, the time and dedication. You’ve done it before and you will do it again. And if you have to walk so be it, life goes on and there are more races.

Here’s my update – I ran the race and was very close to the PR that I ran in April at the Nike Women Half. I felt really good at mile 8 and thought – how did this happen? I’m doing really well and it’s a hilly course. It’s also the first half-marathon where I had a good night’s sleep the night prior. I think sleep and letting go made all the difference.

Do you need help in reaching your goals – be they a marathon, losing weight or being around to dance at your great-grandchild’s wedding? Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to schedule a 45 minute consultation. Together we can come up with a customized plan that works for your busy life.


Early Meetings and Avoiding Being Hangry

PUMPKIN SMOOTHIEI have a weekly meeting at 7:15 am and breakfast is not available. I usually bring my own and I am generally the only one who does. I asked if anyone ate prior to the meeting and about 1/2 the group does. The other half admitted to just grabbing something after the meeting and it generally wasn’t healthy.

I just can’t get my act together early enough to sit and eat breakfast and still be on time for the meeting. I’m either rushing and choking something down – which is about as appealing as it sounds or I have to skip it. I’m mean and/or unfocused when I don’t eat so I choose to have grab and go things ready.

In a pinch I’ll grab hard boiled eggs & a brown rice cake or a Lara Uber Bar and an apple. Usually I have overnight oats or a smoothie. I throw the ingredients in the blender the night prior and just add ice & blend in the morning.

The other day I came across a recipe for Banana Nut Quinoa Muffins on Fannetastic Food. I think that I’m going to make a batch of these and freeze some. Then I have another fun and healthy grab and go option.

What do you do when you’re pressed for time in the morning?

Do you need help putting together a plan for your meals? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to schedule a consultation. Together we can come up with a personalized plan that works with your busy schedule.