Understand why you shouldn’t make a change. That’s right. Until you grasp why you’re sticking like a burr to old habits and routines, it may be hard to muster enough energy and will to take a hard left toward change. Unhealthy behaviors like overeating and smoking have immediate, pleasurable payoffs as well as costs. So when you’re considering a change, take time to think it through. You boost your chance of success when the balance of pluses and minuses tips enough to make adopting a new behavior more attractive than standing in place. Engaging in enjoyable aspects of an unhealthy behavior, without the behavior itself, helps too. For example, if you enjoy taking a break while having a smoke, take the break and enjoy it, but find healthier ways to do so. Otherwise, you’re working against a headwind and are less likely to experience lasting success.
This is almost a week old but has some great tips on finding affordable fitness options. There’s also a shout-out to the Hundred Push-Up Challenge (someday… someday).
Something interesting I learned from a personal finance blog I like is that some gyms offer punch cards, so you pay by the visit. I haven’t yet heard of a gym in New York that does that but it could be a reasonable option if you work out a lot outside but want access to strength equipment or classes once or twice a week, tops.
If you’re a regular exerciser, the psychological impact of gaining 2-3 (or 8?) lbs is lessened by the “return-to-routine” aspect of the post-holiday season, rather than the panicked “I-need-to-get-my-shit-together” feeling that you face when you weren’t maintaining your weight in a healthy way pre-holidays to begin with. The funny thing about metabolism is that it needs to be maintained—for better or worse. If you gain weight over a week or two, and go back to eating your regular intake, the weight *has* to come off because you’re no longer eating enough to maintain that extra weight.
In short, YOU WILL RE-EQUILIBRATE. Dont get all stressed out (or starve yourself)! A hormone called cortisol is released in both cases and it WILL increase your blood glucose and make you bonkers. For reals. Plus, I don’t want to hear it while I’m standing naked in a locker room staring at myself in a full-length mirror after running several miles up hill (in the snow, both ways). And, more importantly, I’m guessing I’m not the only one who feels like this.
In addition to the personal effects, by fat-talking, you’re perpetuating the expectation in our culture that you’re *supposed* to be upset with yourself. There are a lot of shitty things happening in the world, you eating too many christmas cookies doesn’t even make the list of “Top 1000 Evil Things of 2010.” So get back to (or establish) your routine and focus on one of those things. [See also: genocide in Darfur. See also: honor killings in the middle east. See also: violence anywhere See also: world banking crisis. See also: various forms of cancer. See also: etc, etc, ad nauseum.]
Reblog and add, if you do find yourself fat-talking, it’s okay. It’s hard to stop and there’s a cultural bent toward it (just eavesdrop on a random group of women). I struggle with it myself, STILL, sometimes seemingly against my will. But don’t add on guilt about doing it. Improve from where you are.
I was supposed to fly back to New York yesterday, but as you may have heard they got a little precipitation recently, so I’m marooned at my parents’ till Wednesday night. I’m sincerely bummed to miss snowpocalyptic New York given how hard I have been wishing for a decent snow. Oh well! Meanwhile, I am grateful to be working from home and not (yet) in trouble.
I can’t figure out how to operate my mom’s schmancy coffeemaker so in order to get work done I am drinking the only other source of caffeine in the house, Diet Code Red Mountain Dew. It’s so wrong.
My eating this week has been… not great. I did pretty well at the beginning of the day, only to collapse into a pool of cookies and amazing things (and WINE) at the end. Then I got sick. When I got better, all I wanted was junk food to “make up for” having to subsist on Ritz crackers and Vitamin Water. (My parents always gave/give us sport drinks when we’re sick to rehydrate. I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect or not, but it is kind of soothing.)
On the bright side I have been working out every day, and I wish I could take credit but it was my sister’s idea to join this gym that offers weeklong passes. I took a bunch of different classes and here they are in order of how much I liked them: Kickboxing, Zumba, Spinning, “Group Power” (weight-lifting set to music, sort of like Body Pump if you have that).
(Random tangent, there are now 4 gyms within 10 minutes’ driving of my parents’ house. Back in high school we had to go 20 minutes to a YMCA 3 towns over. Is this a sign of people making positive changes? Hmmm.)
So I haven’t been running as much but I went out for a 5K with one of my sisters early this morning. It was crisp and lovely, and also strange.
Some of you are posting your New Year’s Resolutions already, and that’s great! I always love to read them. But I’m thinking we should start a side project of fitblrs who are also trying to save money. Skinny jeans fat wallets? If anyone has a good idea for this (group blog mayhap?) let me know!
Speaking of wallets, I asked for a reflective wrist wallet for Christmas to run in and it was an unexpected big hit with my relatives. I don’t necessarily need it now because I’m always wearing 85 different jackets with pockets when I go out, but in the spring and summer it should be really crucial.
Okay, maybe I am getting a little stir crazy here. And I miss my apartment. Hold on New York, I’m coming back!
“I’m definitely up for a putting-on-weight diet this holiday.”—My mom invited the South American model (read this, then this) to Christmas at our house and she just said this to me. Send Jillian. Send Jillian NOW.
And that’s how you erase 2 weeks of progress in 1 week. There are some meals I would change…I guess I’m irritated that I was so careful about holiday treats, while mainlining other junk on the side. It was a sneak attack! I’m heading home for Christmas today so I will be, once again, aiming to maintain amid all the goodies. It is a consolation to me that I’m right where I was at Thanksgiving and if I have to stay there, it’s better than I would have done in other years. Lost in Dec.: 0/ In 2010: 30.8/ Total: 71.2
Okay, you may be getting some unexpected attention... because I accidentally added your name to a list of Male Fitblrs on a question I got.
I do think of you as a "bro." But still, will you EVER forgive me??
This is so funny! Of course you are forgiven. (And before we go any further, please to check out mangosteel’s full list of male fitblrs — some awesome reads in there. I stand with you, gentlemen!)
As an anonymous I’m not surprised or hurt — I think the last time it happened I wrote something like “well, gotta write about my rack more now!” Clearly I didn’t take my own advice. I guess I forget that the aspects of myself which make me the most gender-normatively-according-to-21st-century-American-society female don’t necessarily come out in what I write about or how, but in other ways you can’t see (my love of dresses, for instance).
At the end of the day we’re all here to get healthier, and we share more than we differ. Now let me get back to planning my trip to the brohouse. Uh, I can come right??
This will have to be short as I am off to a Christmas party at a bookstore (*snort* nerd) and I am sore like the dickens.
It’s probably fitting that this was my hardest race of the year, all the way at the end. I could not have handled this in January. It wasn’t so much the cold as the cold, plus disorientation of running a route I usually don’t, plus some dietary mistakes I made the day before (no comment), plus some intangible burden causing me to struggle. From hoping to PR (can you even PR a race when you’ve never run that long before?) I exited merely hoping not to fall. I didn’t fall, but it wasn’t pretty. When I finally broke down and walked (which I was also aiming not to do, but eh well) my entire legs hurt.
I reached deep, deep inside myself to finish, and it was kind of a scary experience to do that. I would have rather preferred it always be easy. But of course I would! That’s just not how life is.
The next time I do a 15K it will be easier if not easy. And of course there will be another one. I went over the brink once, next time I will come armed.
And now I’m going to go drink hot cider and be merry ‘cause that’s what I want to do.
"The Rav" is my personal term for the hungriest I could ever get. Some experts recommend a number scale for measuring your hunger, but I think of it as "treat hungry," "snack hungry," "meal hungry" and… THE RAV.
Here are a few examples of when you might fall prey to The Rav:
Long plane flights after neglecting to buy the $$$ “snack box”
Tail end of noon meetings without food provided (why, corporate America, why)
Finding a restaurant with a group of friends, resulting in eating much later than normal
A few hours after a race or other very strenuous exercise
There is usually a way around The Rav, if you’re prepared for it. But sometimes it just happens… like it happened to me this morning. I went to the gym and I managed to eat something beforehand, but around 11:40 I noticed I was not concentrating at all and I just felt sort of vague and grumpy. I usually have a snack around 10:30 and lunch at 1, but I ended up going out before noon.
When I get The Rav I know I’m in danger of two things: getting hangry with people around me, or eating everything in sight because I can’t see past my hunger. That’s probably why I avoid getting that hungry on a regular basis. It’s good to remember how it feels, but I want to be able to pull back and make an educated choice.
I ended up going to Au Bon Pain for a soup and garden salad — I think they’ve stepped up their prepared salads lately, they taste a lot fresher — and had a hankering for chocolate so I bought a Silk chocolate soy milk. There have been many many times where it did not go this well, but: I’m learning.
I, Ben Davis—a random runner from Arkansas—am going to be on the
COVER OF RUNNER’S WORLD. (!!!)
Obviously there is a funny/cool story behind this, and I will tell it soon. But for now… I’m just going to dance around the house and hope the editor doesn’t see how much of a dork I am and change his mind.
Let me guess… You’ll be deeply tanned and running against a brilliant blue sky. And you’ll be a woman for some reason. Am I close?
Q. Dear Prudence: My daughter is a recent grad of a top 3 in the country school. She’s kind, pretty, has friends and is employed, going back to grad school. She’s a former college athlete but since school, has put on a huge amount of weight. While it’s a less than ideal situation, she’s seeking help for it. The issue is Grandmother. She’s old-school, from a certain area of the country that values looks and femininity trumps all, especially weight. She’s not at all slim herself, her kids have had eating disorders and her husband has been grossly obese for as long as I’ve known them. She’s terrible to my daughter and what she doesn’t say outright, she implies. My husband’s attempted many times to talk to her, but to no avail. We try to avoid seeing them, but during the holidays, it’ll be difficult. She always has the last word. Is there a polite way to shut her down? Sincerely, not a Belle.
A. Emily Yoffe : Your daughter is an adult so she’s the one who needs to handle this situation. You can have a talk with your daughter and say that you dread hearing her grandmother’s nasty remarks and you want her to be ready to parry them. “Thank you” is an all-purpose non sequiter. Your daughter can also be more direct: “It’s good to see you Grandma. You’ve expressed your feelings about my weight many times, so I know how you feel. I’d like to enjoy the holiday, so I’d appreciate it if we don’t discuss this anymore.” If grandmother won’t stop, your daughter just needs to say, “Good to talk to you. Excuse me, I’m going to see Uncle Ed.”
Thanks for all your half-marathon rejection comments. I feel like a teenager writing this but you guys really understand why anyone would want to run 13.1 miles, and why I specifically would be up for it. (Admittedly, part of this feeling is self-manufactured since I thought, “I won’t tell that many people, then it’ll be all HEY GUYS GUESS WHAT.” It’s not as good of a “GUESS WHAT” to say “I wanted to do something awesome, and it didn’t work out.”)
I was angry! I was sad! I told my dad on the phone that I was going to quit running! But I didn’t mean it. This isn’t a movie where it all comes down to this one final moment. This is still my life, I am still a runner, and I still want to run a half in 2011. (Possibly two.)
The best I can do for myself now is look into other halves, and pledge to support the people I know who did get in. (Long-ass list of possible halves right now; pack leaders right now are the Wisconsin Half Marathon and the Brooklyn Half, both in May.) If I do a race later than the March half, I’d have time to accomplish other fitness goals at the beginning of the year, things that aren’t necessarily congruent with training schedules. I always wanted to do one of those monthlong yoga challenges, for example… or get into spinning or kickboxing. I’ve got ideas!
Snapping out of my funk makes it easier to face this weekend’s 15K, too. It’s going to be chilly but at least the precipitation is out of the forecast… for now.
“Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.”—
I forced myself to run a longish distance (12 miles) this past weekend, even though it was butt-freezing and I felt kinda sick, and I did feel way better after I’d done it… I did run 29 miles while I was at my parents’ house for a week for Christmas, but I still feel like I’m slacking… and obvs have been slacking on this blog. Here’s to writing more!
Belgian researchers put 2 groups of men on an unhealthy diet and identical exercise plans — but half exercised before breakfast, half after. Only the ones who exercised after breakfast gained weight.
So interesting! I wish they would repeat this study with morning versus specifically evening exercisers, to see if the same discrepancy exists. That said I’m still on the “whenever you can find the time” schedule; it’s working okay for me.
But by the looks of my credit card I was just chosen for the NYC half marathon!
I would rather crawl through a pit of fire ants than call my bank’s 1-800 number, but I did and… nothing. I don’t know what it means but I’m nervous all over again! Needless pointless fretting better burn a lot of calories…
(No offense at all to you mylifelosangeles — thanks for the heads up, and congratulations! Hope I’m in there with you!)
T2 got a Shake Weight as a gag gift from one of his other clients. In an effort to see how good the workout is, he’s having making me do one of the workouts that comes with this gem because I have a heart rate monitor. That way, he can see what kind of a calorie burn it is. I’m really, really not looking forward to it.
I’m prepared to feel like a fool, I suppose. OK … maybe not. I really don’t think I can prepare myself for Shake Weighting in the gym.
That is so wrong but so funny. I think he should use it as punishment: “Gee [Client], I didn’t see you in here at all this week… Today we’re going to switch things up.”
I only wish I could think of someone who would “appreciate” this in her/his life. Don’t forget, there’s one for men too!
There’s an apocryphal story about a woman at a party saying to Winston Churchill, “You’re drunk!” and him retorting, “Yes, madam, but you are ugly, and in the morning I shall be sober.”
I was thinking of this story when an acquaintance of mine crawled out of nowhere to ask me a favor. (I feel so dirty when I use the word “networking” but yeah, I guess that.) This is a guy who, when we were in the same social environment, would take pains to exclude me from whatever the group was doing, and make fun of me when I was there. Simply, women were important to him by how hot they were — it didn’t matter that he himself wasn’t model material.
Middle school classmate? HA… try first job out of college.
I wasn’t sorry to move away and lose touch because he made it clear that the people he preferred were my thin, pretty friends, and I was just the unfortunate tag-along. Oh, like I didn’t know? I knew — I just didn’t have the self-confidence to call him on it.
To the extent that I have anything to give in this world, I give freely to those who are in my corner. I take joy in doing so and I am learning the rewards of generosity. But to that guy I say, I’m self-confident now, and you’ll always be an asshole.
I revived the Dailymile account I started a few months ago and posted a bit to it. Not sure how much I’ll use it, but we’ll see how it goes.
I was going to wait until I had a totally kickass week to share it, but then Eddoeslifefound me and friended me. Always keeping me honest, Ed! The truth is, I have been a little apprehensive about running this week because after my long run on Sunday I had some pain in my right foot. Specifically… a bunion. (If you don’t know what it is, DO NOT Google Image Search, but here’s a sketch with a skeleton that isn’t totally gross.)
That area never hurt before Sunday, which made me sort of mad and also confused. However, I could have done more cross-training while I rested it. I am just whining and plan to hit the treadmill tonight after work.
A study in the November issue of the International Journal of Obesity used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 14,306 people to find that among adults who had been overweight or obese, 36.5% managed to keep off 5% of their weight for at least a year, 17.3% kept off 10%, 8.5% kept off 15% and 4.4% kept off 20%.
The stats are not very encouraging… but it’s nice to see a health story with any optimism in it. And come to think of it, why shouldn’t we be among that 4.4 percent? For indeed, that is the group I would aim for.
I have to go to bed so I can rock the gym tomorrow but it was fascinating to peek into the other sides of your lives. Your jobs, your passions, your sports teams… Swell stuff. Oh yeah, and I’m @neithernor, but don’t feel obligated.
My biggest takeaway from Tumblr Blackout of 2010 was that I need more of you lovelies in my life, not less. Plus I’ll need all the help I can get when I start my rap career (like Brandy I never say N-E-V-E-R).
To be fair I don’t tweet about health and fitness that much… but I should. Maybe you can help me into it.
I’m just jumping around from people I already know, but please to leave your Twitter name after the beep?
“Don’t keep holiday snack treats handy at home. Eat treats only when you go out.”—The best tip from this Huffington Post article, "The loneliness of the holiday dieter." My promise to myself is that if all the parties I go to have terrible treats, then I can go out on Christmas Eve and buy candy canes or something… but that never happens.