Posts tagged ‘exercise’
So in the essence of full disclosure, I had a major pity party last night.
I was procrastinating studying for my final exam and I decided engage in a completely random activity–look through old pictures from my digital camera, as far back as Feb 2007. It was quite entertaining and Matt and I had a few good chuckles about how heavy he used to be (Seriously, it looks like he got attacked by a swarm of bees and puffed up).
But the pictures of me were a different story. Ignoring bad hair coloring, I was shocked to see how friggin’ THIN I was in those pictures (see above). Back then I had never been more obsessed with healthy eating, dieting, and more MISERABLE than I was at that time. But I regardless of that, I was thin. It certainly was a jolt to see myself in a way more slender body.
Which of course caused me to look down at my body now, which, don’t get me wrong, I revel in my voluptuousness…most of the time. But comparing my body now with my body of 3-4 years ago was very difficult.
And then the pity party started.
“Look at you, you can’t maintain your weight”
“You’re weak, you should have more discipline”
“You should eat less, exercise more, go on a diet. How could you let yourself get to this point?”
“You should be ashamed of yourself. You’re studying to be a dietitian, for crying out loud! Why will people want to listen to you if you can’t even keep your own weight down?”
And then, the victim voices:
“Well, you do gain weight as you age”
“My schedule has changed and I don’t have as much time to exercise and I’m stressed all the time.”
As you can imagine, I felt as though I was insane. It WAS insane.
So I made a compromise with myself: Go ahead and think these thoughts, feel badly about yourself, but you only have until the end of the night. Wake up tomorrow morning and it’s a new day. No more of this bullshit.
And you know what, it worked. I let myself be grumpy, angry, ashamed, sad, and spent sometime mourning my former self (which, according to my friends and loved ones, was too thin) and then went to bed. I woke up with a smile on my face, put on an outfit that made me feel fabulous, and sashayed out the door.
I’m just like you—I have the same negative thoughts about my body, and even with the massive amounts of work I’ve done on myself, sometimes they rear their ugly head when you least expect it (like 10pm on a Tuesday evening). By allowing myself to experience these negative feelings, I was able to move past them much more quickly.
So often women in particular are afraid of making waves in their life, and instead plaster on a smile and pretend like they’re OK. I used to be like that…it lead to a lot of issues, especially around food (aka binges). If you’re feeling crappy, seriously, give yourself some time to feel crappy, embrace the crappiness, and then say, “Thank you for sharing,” and move on. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, I Love you, body!
Have you ever experienced this? Do you feel like you’re allowed to throw yourself a pity party?
Yes, friends, that’s my weight, right there in BIG, BOLD letters.
A year ago, I would’ve been ashamed to tell you how much I weighed.
Now, I feel absolutely NO emotional connection to that number. As of today. I mean come on, it’s just a number, right? Right?
This morning I started Boot Camp again (Park Slopers, it’s awesome!) and after an hour of sweating my tush off, the trainer took measurements (to be done monthly). I haven’t looked at a scale in months, but I knew my weight was creeping up. These thoughts were confirmed when I looked down at the scale and saw the number 134.4 pounds SPEAK back to me (Yes, this scale not only displayed the number but SPOKE it…more like SHOUTED it!)
For the first time in my life, I looked down at that number and felt nothing. No disappointment. No, “Oh, I’m a bad, unmotivated person and I am worthless and should be ashamed of myself!” I’ve had years and years of that tape playing in my head, and truthfully it was getting really worn out.
Today I CELEBRATE my INDEPENDENCE from my weight. Would I like to lose a few pounds? Yes. But I’m motivated by getting into better shape and FEELING better about myself, and not living my life by the number on the scale. As someone who has been 145 pounds and also 118 pounds, been there, done that.
I can’t tell you how liberating I feel. To know that my self-worth, as a woman, a human being, has NOTHING to do with the way I look is friggin awesome. Sure, it took me many many many many many years and lots of hard work to get here, but baby, I’ve arrived!
Do you weigh yourself? What’s your relationship to the scale?
My latest obsession besides detox baths: Yoga at home.
For the past few weeks I’ve been indulging my downward dog cravings each morning. Just 20 minutes incorporated into my morning routine has made a noticable difference in my day. Not only do I get a little bit of exercise first thing in the morning, but yoga is a wonderful way to stretch and bend out all those nighttime kinks (not kinky. Kinks)
I’ve discovered Exercise TV on Demand (NY TIme Warner channel 1025). They have about 15 yoga routines to choose from, ranging from 11 minutes to over an hour, all different levels and types. I’m fond of Zen in Your Den for my early morning routine and the Sunset yoga with Sarah Ivanhoe to wind down at night. Of course the channel also has many other workouts to choose from, like the “10 Minute” series, cardio, and Jillian Michaels.
So, try, just try, to get up 20 minutes earlier, break out your yoga mat in the comfort of your own home, and get your downward dog on early. I swear it will make you feel SO much better!
***THIS WILL BE MY LAST POST UNTIL THE WEEK OF JUNE 7TH. I’LL BE ON VACATION!!****
I hope you had a lovely weekend! Mine was quite fabulous, thank you.
On Sunday I had the pleasure of going to the West Side Pure Yoga (OMG, have you been to that place? It’s drop dead GORGEOUS!) for a workshops where I danced, hardcore, for 2 straight hours. Incredible DJ, fun people, free-form dancing, letting my freak flag fly, sweating more than I have in ages. Sound up your alley?
This, my friends, is Journey Dance, created by the amazing Toni Bergins. To take Toni’s class–let alone be in the same room as she–is magical. She has the most incredible, abundant, radiating energy I have ever experienced. Sorry to get woo-woo on you, but it’s true.
So, what IS Journey Dance? According to the website:
JourneyDance is a grooving celebration that will have you loving your body and loving your life! Weaving simple, guided movement sequences and free exploration, JourneyDance reconnects you with your innate state of joyous well-being. Your mind becomes clear, free, and positive, and your body feels supple, energized, and powerful. Practiced to inspiring world music, your dance is an empowering journey to self-acceptance and transformation.
And if you’re still confused, check out this Youtube video to see a class in action.
I highly recommend signing up on the website so you won’t miss out on Toni’s next New York adventure (she rarely comes to NYC!). Oh, and btw, this is an fantastic workout..my entire body is sore, but in the “good” sore type of way.
“There is a lot of conflicting information about what the appropriate diet is for a weight training workout regime. You typically hear low carb/high protein. That is vague. Aren’t beans carbs but also high in protein? Peanut butter = high in fat and sugar, but decent source of protein. Is everything off limits except fish, chicken, and veggies? I hate fish, btw. If the goal is to build muscle and lose fat, then what can I eat?” S.R., North Carolina
Wonderful question! I can totally sympathize with you and your frustration about what to eat to make the most of your strength training workouts. There are a lot of myths floating around there—one of them being that you should eat a high protein, low carbohydrate diet like you mentioned. On the contrary, if you’re weight training (or exercising at all), carbohydrates should actually be the main part of your diet. I also understand your trepidation of eating high calorie foods, such as peanut butter. I think you’ll find, however, that peanut butter (or any nut butter) in particular is a fabulous pre/post workout snack that you can enjoy and not feel guilty. Just be sure it’s the natural kind with NO added sugar.
To build lean muscle mass, you need to take in adequate calories to fuel your body before, during, and after weight training. Not only do you need MORE calories, but you need the right KIND of calories in order to get a toned body. Let me break down the macronutrients for you so you can see what I’m talking about.
Yes, I know, we’re all scared of carbs. But you don’t have to be, and well, you shouldn’t be. You should embrace them! Our predominant source of energy for weight training (approx 60-75% of your meal) should come from high-quality, healthy carbs. Carbs are stored as glycogen in your muscles, giving you energy for short, intense bursts of power. Perfect for weight lifting, right? The harder and longer you work out, the more glycogen you’ll need. Once glycogen stores are depleted, your energy level will drop. This why athletes always need to have high amounts of carbohydrates (think pasta before a marathon). So, there is NO reason to be afraid of your friendly carbohydrate. Just make sure they come in healthy, wholesome forms, like whole wheat bread, grains, fruits, and vegetables for example. (Skip candy—you might get a quick “high” but it will only lead to a bigger crash later)
I once had a personal trainer that told me to eat ridiculous amounts of protein. He would look at my food journal and proclaim, “More protein!” And I’ve heard this from other friends whose trainers tell them the same thing. (No offense whatsoever to personal trainers) It’s just that Americans OVERCONSUME protein by three or four times the needed amount! In reality, only 15% of our workout meal should consist of protein. As you know, your muscles are made up of protein. And while it’s true the strength trainers need to consume more protein than non trainers, we are still eating way too much! And you know me—I’m not a fan of those protein shakes like muscle milk. First of all, it’s filled with crappy additives and chemicals. Your body likes whole foods. And second, it’s just way too much protein, and your body excretes what it doesn’t need.
Ah, the “four” letter word in the health world for many. But fat can be our friend, people! When consumed in small portions, certain fats are GOOD for us. After all, our brain is comprised of mostly fat…so we really need it. Think healthy unsaturated and monounsaturated fats like nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil. Fat should make up about 30% of our workout meal. For example, that’s where peanut butter comes in. How about a half a banana with 1-2T of peanut butter, or peanut/almond butter on whole wheat. Eat half the sandwich before the workout, and the other half right after.
Remember to keep drinking and stay hydrated, since water is lost during exercise. It makes a big difference to start your workout sufficiently hydrated, so drink 2 cups of water about 2 hours before working out, and keep drinking throughout the workout (4-8oz approximately every 20 minutes or as needed).
I’m sure you’re going to ask me about fluid and electrolyte replacers, like Gatorade. I’m under the impression that if you’re doing an intense workout longer than an hour, then something like that could work for you. But if you’re just doing a normal workout at the gym (which most of us do), chances are that just plain water will do. Plus, those electrolyte replacers can add a lot of calories and sugar back into your body. For an all natural option, try coconut water. Most gyms carry it now, and it’s delicious.
Here are some examples of some pre- and post-workout snacks. Remember, you want slow-burning complex carbs as the base, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You should try to eat about 15-20 minutes after working out, and keep the snack at about 200 calories. The meal should consist of some protein and carbohydrates to fuel muscle growth and repair, and to replenish glycogen stores.
1. ½ chicken, turkey, low-fat tuna salad or lean roastbeef sandwich on whole wheat
2. Lowfat yogurt with banana (try unsweetened greek yogurt-thick, creamy, and totally satisfying! You can also top your yogurt with nuts, seeds, raisins, etc)
3. Low fat string cheese with 6 whole grain crackers (Try Mary’s Gone Crackers, my favorite!)
4. Hard boiled egg with hummus
5. Smoothie with fruit and skim milk
1. Scrambled eggs (or any other way) over toast
2. Bean burrito with whole wheat wrap, black beans, salsa, low fat cheese (Beans are a near perfect food—healthy carbohydrates and full of protein)
3. Stir fry chicken and veggies with brown rice
4. Whole wheat pasta with chicken and veggies
5. Whole grain cereal or oatmeal with milk and fruit
Once again, avoid SIMPLE SUGARS like candy, especially before your workout. Your blood sugar will soar, leading to a drastic drop in energy. Crash and burn!