The Long and Short(s) of It

I know that I have already declared it to be so, but it bears repeating: I hate running. Yesterday’s torturous 3-mile jaunt around the hallowed streets of Falls Church only served to reinforce this fact. But, I did it anyway, since I’m training for the Reach the Beach Relay in May and will need to be able to complete three separate legs of 3 to 4.5 miles each. (Which I know is nothing compared to what the rest of my teammates will be running, but it’s a lot for me!)

So, as mentioned, I took to the streets to take advantage of yesterday’s beautiful weather, and also used it as an opportunity to test out one of the clothing items that New Balance sent me a little while ago. I gave the Prism Run Shorts a try — my first time running in run shorts — and what did I find? I found that I do not, in fact, like running in run shorts.


I really should have taken these photos pre-run, haha.

Yes, having now officially tested the gamut of running legwear, I can officially say that running in shorts is not for me. Maybe things would be different if I had thighs that didn’t touch, shorts that had no way of riding up, and confidence that would stop Giselle in her tracks but alas, that is not the case. I was blessed with Powell thighs, and Powell thighs touch. Good for all that pioneerin’ and baby-makin’. The chafing! I’ll need some serious Astro Glide if I’m to continue running in these puppies! Not to mention the whole thing where they rode up to my chatch and basically made it look like I was running down Broad street in a bikini bottom. I’ve really come around to my legs as a beloved body part, but I’m pretty sure nobody needs to see that.

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I’m willing to give the other pair of running shorts and the running skirt that NB sent me a try, but I’m skeptical as to whether I’ll find them any different. They’re a smidgen looser/longer though, so who knows? As of right now, however, I’m pretty sold on my past capri-lovin’ ways. I don’t really like running tights except for when winter weather necessitates them because I find them too constricting (and they get pulled down more easily as I go along), but capri-length fitness pants are my jam. Despite all of my personal issues with actually running in the shorts, they’re very comfortable. They’re definitely booty shorts, so again, this may simply be stemming from a confidence issue. Regardless, I will absolutely keep them in my arsenal for non-running fitness activities. They’d be perfect for hot yoga!

What is your run wear of choice? Are you a shorts person? Fellow capri lover? Running skirt fanatic?

Daily Eats – 3/6/12

Oh hey. Remember when I used to actually do the things that I said I’d do? Like start posting Daily Eats again? Yeah, about that…

Better late than never, right?

Breakfast: Trader Joe’s frozen blueberry waffle (110 cal) and a Pineapple 2% Chobani (160 cal).

Lunch (Part 1): Romaine salad with pineapple, feta, and raspberry vinaigrette (~220 cal).

Lunch (Part 2): Frozen Trader Joe’s vegetarian pad thai (520 cal).

Dinner: SUSHIIIIIII! (~400 cal).

Total: ~1410 calories. Yee-haw!

Workout Motivation

Yesterday marked my last of three personal training sessions that I purchased when I joined a gym as part of my Lenten resolution. I have actually really enjoyed strength training with my trainer, Jordan, and am a little bit worried about putting in the same effort on my own. There’s no internal argument when I have someone there telling me what to do — I just, I dunno, do it. Ideally, I think I would honestly prefer to work out with a trainer on a permanent, regular basis, but monetarily that’s not very practical for me at this time.

I do know that I want to keep going with weight training, however, because I am actually enjoying it more than I expected. I wouldn’t say I like it, but I decidedly don’t hate it (yet), which is a big step for me! Alas, it will be up to me to (try to) remember all the exercises that Jordan has taught me, and to devise a few workout sets of my own to keep going. I suppose I’ll also be joining the ranks of people who scour the internet for workout plans and inspiration, too. And whaddya know, I’ve already found a few that I am more than happy to get on board with!

katniss and peeta

Theodora‘s company recently sent me a workout plan that was developed by Lisa Wheeler, the Fitness Program Director of DailyBurn. This workout is specifically inspired by The Hunger Games. I know how cheesy it sounds, but honestly the simple act of combining something that I don’t like (exercise) with something that I love (Hunger Games, durr) makes the whole idea of actually, y’know, doing it more exciting. Honestly, I should probably capitalize on this excitement most by taking a full-on archery class (resistance training, whoop whoop!) but we’ll go with what we got for now, haha. And what we got is a free workout that you don’t even need a gym to be able to do!

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ARMS
Exercise: Single Arm Row with Rotation
Equipment: Resistance Band
Description: A single arm row simulates the upper body action in archery by drawing one elbow back (engaging the deep muscles of the back) and slightly rotating the torso. Hook tubing around a stable pole or door jam and place both handles in your right hand. Step back until the tubing has some tension. Pick up your right foot and balance on your left and then begin to pull the tubing back, right hand moving towards right hip. Add a slight rotation to the right, opening up the shoulder.

ABS AND CORE
Exercise: Bear Squat
Equipment: none, just your body weight
Description: The bear squat combines a full plank, which is fantastic for the core, and an explosive leg press. Begin in plank then bend your knees and send your hips back over your heels keeping the knees off the floor (spine is flexed and arms are extended). With a powerful push from your legs, extend back out to plank and hold.

LEG STRENGTH
Exercise: Curtsy Squat Side Lunge
Equipment: Dumbbells
Description: To truly develop strong legs that are functional for running, jumping, leaping and carrying heavy loads, you must train them in all directions. Holding heavy dumbbells in each hand begin with feet together. Step out to the side with your right leg, keeping your left leg straight. Hinge forward slightly but keep chest lifted with the dumbbells on either side of your right leg. Push off your right foot and immediately step back and cross behind the left leg, bending both knees into a curtsy squat.

AGILITY
Exercise: Quick Feet Drill
Equipment: none, just your body weight
Description: To be quick on your feet and have the agility to change direction quickly, you must train the muscles to fire rapidly and with power. This drill is about quickness and endurance and really elevates your heart rate. Begin in the athletic ready stance (feet a little wider than shoulder width with knees slightly bent and a slight hinge forward from the hips) with arms out the side, palms forward. Start moving your feet as fast as you can as if running keeping the feet close to the ground. Keeping your shoulders and torso stable, randomly twist your hips (knees and feet as well!) to the right and quickly back to the center. Repeat to the left continuing to keep your feet moving as quickly as possible.

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As you can see, these aren’t exactly as simple or easy as your basic bicep curl. They are much more complex exercise moves that most definitely fall under the category of a “full body workout”. Each move seems to challenge your stability and balance along with the body part they are targeting – more bang for your workout buck! I’m happy because at least for OMGRIGHTNOW, I have some new moves to test out as I figure out how I work solo in the weight room. My legs are crazy sore (again, sigh) from my training session yesterday, but you can bet I’ll be attempting the faux-archery Arm Row exercise tonight!

How do you do your gym workouts? Do you need a gym buddy? Personal trainer? A workout ripped from the pages of a magazine or printed off of a website?

Honey, I Shrunk the Series: Alex Eats Green

Gretchen’s Green Guest:

Hi, fellow foodies! I’m Alex, blogging over at Alex Eats Green. Gretchen was kind enough to pass over the reins while she frolics in Harry Potter land (I’m so JEALOUS) for the weekend. Though not about weight loss, I’ve recently undergone a different kind of transformation: introducing myself to real food.

I live in NYC, and started the blog after being bit hard by the nutrition bug. It was only a matter of time before I found an outlet (other than lecturing my parents) for ranting about the processed food world. I’ve always been an avid Bon Appétit reader, but only recently have I started paying attention to the ingredients listed in all those beautiful recipes, and in turn, what those ingredients do to our bodies. I had become obsessed with learning about nutrition, and had an urge tell people about what I was learning. It was a whole new world that simply astonished me. I couldn’t believe how much I’d been left out of the loop on.

(I really like pickles.)

I stepped into the light after reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. I’ll never forget the moment where it all clicked for me. Summer of 2010, I was reading on a train to Martha’s Vineyard, and Pollan was discussing sugars such as fructose, glucose, and the evil spawn: high-fructose corn syrup. He spoke of the havoc that HFCS can unleash in the body.

I set the book down and thought for a moment.

Ahhhh. I get it now…

We need to eat whole (preferably mostly green) foods in order for our bodies to be happy. And by “happy,” I mean we need to eat food that our body understands, and knows how to break down. When our bodies are happy, we’re happy. Makes sense right? However, the line gets a little blurry when it comes to what constitutes these whole foods; happy foods.

I finally made the correlation as to why when I was a kid, my Mom always insisted on buying us that “gross organic stuff.” The organic whole milk, real cookies (made with milk, sugar, flour, chocolate), Breyer’s ice cream with whole ingredients. Of course when I got out of my Mom’s kitchen, I found my way into the multi-colored world of Twizzlers, Sour Patch Kids, KitKats, and Cheetos. I lived in that world until I realized that our bodies don’t have the tools to process these colors (high-fructose corn syrup, processed, artificial coloring) and that it was time to turn my plate around.

I started reading (and watching) everything and anything related to my epiphany. I was passionate about making good food, and about making real food. I also became a vegetarian a little over a year ago (just had my veggieversary!), which stemmed from my newly acquired appreciation for all things green… plus the lofty environmental and ethical effects don’t hurt either. Living in New York City, it’s easy to find fellow green-eaters. I try and take in my fair share of restaurant weeks, but more often that not, I find myself wandering the Union Square farmer’s market searching for the perfect eggplant for that evening’s home cooked meal.

Sometimes I make my own 3-day juice cleanses, and sometimes I eat nothing but cheese over the weekend. Either way, I feel like for the first time in my life, I am really tasting my food, and liking it. Mother approved.

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Thanks, Alex! I love how your story proves that healthy living transformations are not just about weight loss — something that I often forget as someone so fixated on my weight! If any of you are interested in learning more about Alex and following her story further, please check out her blog, Alex Eats Green!

Happy Presidents Day!

Daily Eats – 1/25/12

I know, I know, I suck. I said I was going to be posting daily eats posts regularly, and I’ve been failing at that. But I will have you know I’ve been tracking AND photographing what I’ve been eating pretty well. I’ve just been too lazy to actually post them here, go figure. I’m working on it, though, I promise. While I get my act together, here’s a day’s worth of eats from last week. Better than nothing?

Trader Joe’s yogurt (140 cal) plus an unpictured Luna Bar (180 cal)

Leftover homemade bulgogi over white rice with roasted b. sprouts on the side (~450 cal)

A packet of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter, sucked right from the packet ahahaha (190 cal)

Family dinner night with the ‘rents: chicken with creamed corn, sauteed spinach, pork, and more brussels sprouts, with brown rice. (??? cal).

Not including dinner, that’s 960 calories, which means I was probably pretty darn close to target in the end. Huzzah! Again, apologies for the slacking on this. I’ll get better… eventually. 😉