Losing It: 5Ks, Juice Cleanses, Matzoh Houses—Oh My!

Robin's had a busy week, ya'll. But guess what? She ran her first 5K!

(Quick disclaimer: This is going to be a long post, folks. Go put on some comfy pants and grab yourself a snack or something.)

The last week and a half of my life has been a whirlwind.

Let’s start off with the fact that I borrowed a glue gun from a friend and proceeded to fashion a matzoh house with my daughter. Those of you who know me well will realize that this is completely out of character, as I am the anti-crafty mom. I had visions of this being not only a wonderful mother-daughter bonding activity, but also an architectural endeavor to rival the likes of the most kick-ass gingerbread house. It turned out to be something that my daughter was mildly interested in for five minutes, a sure-fire way to sear all the skin off of my fingertips, and the ugliest G-D thing you’ve ever seen. How could I expect a Kosher-for-Passover house adorned with faux soup nuts, dried fruit and fake marshmallows to be as wonderful as something made of magical sugary goodness? One more con on the list for Passover.

That story was not in any way about weight loss; I just wanted to share. Moving on …

Passover Seders full of gefilte fish and brisket over the weekend segued nicely into my Catalyst Juice Cleanse, which began Tuesday morning. I gave you a brief cleanse review in last week’s post, but feel the need to elaborate now that I’ve finished and had time to reflect on the experience. First, many people asked me how I felt during the cleanse. I wish I could give an accurate account of that, but my allergies were crippling last week and I wasn’t getting much sleep. I might have to try it again in the dead of winter when every tree I encounter is not my enemy. Anyway, I’m pleased to report that, out of the 20 people who began cleansing together, 19 completed all three days. Seems like the women on board lost anywhere from three to five pounds, and the men a little bit more. We’ve all gained weight back but, as far as I know, no one is back to where they started. While, yes, I expected to lose weight on the cleanse, my expectations were not to be able to maintain that weight loss. You can’t go from only drinking juice to eating solid food and NOT gain weight back. Weight loss aside, I feel like a learned a lot from this experience.

Once again, I went outside of my comfort zone to try something I was totally nervous about, and I was able to do it. I just high-fived myself.

For me, much of eating is about rituals. For instance, I always stop at a particular Wawa to grab coffee on my way to work. During the cleanse I had to forgo this part of my day. I drink decaf so it’s not like I was jonesing for the caffeine; it was more about the act of making my coffee. The smell of it. Holding something warm in my hands. So I skipped it on my way to work this morning and didn’t miss it. I don’t need the calories or to be spending the money. So if I can look past the rituals and routines associated with eating, maybe I can get a handle on some part of it.

I’m much more conscious about what I’m putting into my body these days. I am currently on a crusade to find a replacement for the Splenda that I use when I do drink coffee. I used to do straight-up sugar but switched because Splenda is zero points on Weight Watchers. Of course, just because something is zero points does not mean that it is in any way healthy for you to ingest. I’m considering agave and stevia but need to play around with both for taste. Leave a comment below with your sweetener thoughts and preferences.

Robin’s Weight Tracker
Starting: 130.4 pounds
Current: 121 pounds
Last week: 121 pounds
Goal: 118 pounds

In the end, the cleanse was a great experience and something that I will be doing again next Passover, if not before. Even though I didn’t love all of the juices (I dare you to find someone who did) I was able to get them down and move on. I wasn’t starving at any point during the process and my cravings all but disappeared. I even visited the Catalyst folks at their new restaurant, Jar Bar, on Monday with Be Well Philly editor, Emily, and her intern, Dana. My only point of reference regarding raw food was the Sex & The City episode where the ladies can’t bear to eat what is on their plates (that restaurant was where Samantha first met Smith, though, so all was not lost), so needless to say I was skeptical. As usual, my skepticism was unfounded, as the food and drinks that I literally housed were amazing. From the drink menu we enjoyed a Strawberry Kale Lemonade and a Chocolate Maca (ever in the mood for a chocolate milkshake? Have this instead. You’re welcome.). On the eats side we shared a “burger” and “fries,” raw sweet potato pasta, and a sprouted hummus wrap. And finally, the desserts. Carrot cake, chocolate mousse pie (insanity) and truffles. I loved each thing I tried, was completely satiated when I finished, and actually felt really good about what I had just eaten. So good, in fact, that I skipped around the corner and got myself a well-deserved pedi, as my feet were looking pretty funky from …

The 5K that I completed on Sunday!! (See photographic evidence above.)

To say that I am proud of myself would be an understatement in this case. I started training for the Gift of Life Dash for Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness (a cause very close to my heart as my dad is on the kidney transplant list at Penn. Are YOU an organ donor?) about nine weeks ago and Sunday felt like my graduation. But with David Guetta DJing instead of lame Pomp and Circumstance playing over the PA. I got pumped with team “Are You Kidney-ing Me?” beforehand, then ran the race on my own, at my own pace. I didn’t want to feel like I had to keep pace with anyone or vice versa. As I was not running for time I was able to take it slow, enjoy my music, the adrenaline of the folks running around me, and the scenery (looking towards the Schuylkill, of course, as staring at the traffic on 76 was doing nothing for my feel-good vibes). I felt good pretty much the whole way through and seeing my family and teammates cheering me on at the end helped me finish strong. I felt euphoric for the rest of the day, even though my thighs burned like a mo-fo. I have started my bib collection and am going to be adding one to it in each of the next two months. I’m such an effing runner.

One last item before I bid you adieu. When I finally do finish this weight loss thing, I am going to need someone to come over and help edit my closet. As a mostly work-from-home mom for the past seven years whose clothing size has fluctuated anywhere between a size 2 and a size 8, my sense of style has suffered immensely. If you would like to volunteer to be that person or, better yet, know someone who does this professionally, please send the info my way. My self-esteem thanks you for it in advance.


Robin Raskin blogs about her weight loss journey every Thursday on Be Well Philly. Catch up on the series here, and follow her on Twitter at @RobinRaskin. Join Robin’s Healthy Recipe Swap Facebook group here.