Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kick in the Butt

Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE quotes.  I live by them.   For some time I’ve subscribed to RunnersWorld.com “Daily Kick in the Butt” and receive inspirational running/life quotes in my inbox.  Back in 2007, said source posted 101 Kicks in Butt - 101 tips for finding inspiration to run.  I've completed the first two steps (1) Blogging (2) Mama, Get a New Pair of Shoes.

I could stand to follow two other tips:

ONE: EVERY MILE YOU RUN burns roughly 100 calories. Think of that next six-miler as two slices of pizza. Note from Cyn:  The pizza I eat is usually a min. of 150 calories per slice so my next six-miler is more like 1.3 slices, or in the case of Giordano's deep dish cheese, prolly 0.3 slices.

Classic Rock
"Don't Stop Me Now," Queen
"Break on Through," The Doors
 "Gimme Shelter," Rolling Stones
"Come Together" the Beatles
"What Do You Do for Money Honey," AC/DC

This post wouldn't be complete without today's Daily Kick In the Butt:
I don't think you can become an outstanding runner unless you get a certain amount of enjoyment out of the suffering. You have to enjoy absorbing it, controlling it and—ultimately—overcoming it.  ~Derek Clayton in The Masters of the Marathon

Monday, March 28, 2011

That Don't Impress Me Much

I'm not impressed with my fitness progress this month. Talk about inconsistent and sometimes just plain lazy.  

Last week's stats:  
Exercise:  2 workouts
Miles run: 1.4
Sleep:  Horrendous
Water:  I need to purchase a Brita pitcher/filter and stop relying on plastic water bottles.  Aquafina.

Netflix cannot continue to steal all of my post-work, evening time.  As much as I love hibernating in my apartment and watching episode after episode of the British Skins (Mtv's got nothing on this original, even though I also enjoy the American version, which is way better than I expected based on the previews and which is not just a plot repeat of every British episode if you make it past Episode one), random movies and King of the Hill (259 episodes from 1997 to 2010!), my exercise efforts for March were lame.
Skins, UK-style.  I watched Volumes 1 thru 3 in two weeks via Netflix streaming.  Then I  bought Volume 4 from Walmart.com since there was a "long wait" on Netflix and it was unstreamable.  Watched Volume 4 in two days.  Then sold it on eBay.   Amazing series (for those who like teen dramas).
I thought not having cable would make me watch less tv.   False.  Things are mighty dangerous with endless tv and movie content at my fingertips. Literally, Netflix.  I've been without a cable subscription since November 2010 and I watch/stream everything online...or head over to a buddy's place if there's something I can't see online.  

It'd be nice if the cold weather didn't confine my running to gym treadmills...which brings me to April.  I see April as bright and shiny.  And rainy.  I do expect April showers to bring May flowers, after all.  Regardless, I choose April to really step up my fitness goals.  I'm signed up for an 8K April 10th (Shamrock Shuffle).  I'm also signed up for a challenge on dailymile to run 100 miles during the month of April.  Yes, this hibernating, Netflixed-crazed, only-ran-10-miles-all-year girl prays for increase.  Specifically a 10-fold increase in miles. I'm up for the challenge.  Time to kick it up.  Hopefully Mr. Sun will be more consistent soon since I tend to run outside with more frequency and for longer periods of time than I do on the treadmill.  

Speaking of 100, the institution at which I attended law school called and asked if I could donate $100.  Just now.   I kindly told the mechanical engineering student rep who called that I would love to except for the fact that Sallie Mae already has dibs on that $100 and the next several hundred...thousand.

I assured him I planned to donate in the future when I can afford it.  Most likely around 2025.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Morning walk

This morning's planned run turned into a 60-min super energizing walk. 
I didn't get much sleep last night and woke up feeling like someone slapped 
me in the face...real out of it.  Slept in part of my workout gear and had Tonster
 come over to workout with me at 7:30 a.m.   So early for me when I usually
 sleep in on Saturday mornings.After 5 minutes of walking, I felt awake and happy.  
It's was fun to talk, exercise and see the neighborhood. 
 Yeah for Spring almost being here.  :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Let It All Hang Out

This week flew by.  Even though I was super busy at work, I managed to squeeze in two workouts, and have a morning run scheduled for tomorrow a.m. with my running buddy Tonster.  That Shamrock Shuffle 8k is just around the corner.  Bring it spring weather.

Song of the moment update: 

The week in review:
Weight - Gained 0.6 pounds.  BOO.
Total workouts - 3
Sleep - Poor
Calories - Reasonable.  Participated in Healthy Lunch week at work, and had to eat at least one big piece of fruit or 1 cup of fruit AND 1 cup of veggies.   Completed the week with some tasty veggie lunches thanks to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.  Also bought my first mango ever (still have yet to eat it) and ate some Lara bars.

Water - Drank like a fish.
Fitness highlight:  Completing a super fun Turbo Jam class with my older sister at Women's Workout World

My first Mango purchase!
Two ingredients: cashews & dates. Gluten free. How on earth does she do that?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The future freaks me out

"Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.”
~ Author, Robert H. Schuller

Singer Jennifer Hudson lost weight with Weight Watchers. 
Photo from TheHealthyTeacher.com

Anyone who's ever tried to lose weight knows it can involve a lot of getting on board, falling overboard, climbing back on and starting over again.  It's no wonder the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 100,000 people die annually as a result of obesity, and it is estimated that 65 percent of American adults older than 20 are overweight or obese. 

I've tried it all - Jenny Craig, Slim Fast, Diet Pills, Skipping Meals, Calorie Counting.  With temporary fixes, I saw weight loss but none of it lasted.  I only lost to gain back the pounds I lost plus 10 more.  Personally, I know that the only way to lose and keep it off is to be consistent in whatever method you try.  Always staying active, always eating sensibly, always climbing back on board when falling off said wagon. 

Of course knowing what to do and actually doing are two different things, especially since most folks my age grew up in the age of "Eat Crap and You'll Feel Better" mass marketing.  Bad day?  Indulge in ice cream.  Money tight?  Eat like a king with this affordable fried chicken dinner.  Want to make everyday a Friday?  Head to the nearest Thank God It's Tasty joint and get a full day and half worth of calories in burgers and fries.  Hungry?  Why wait.  Follow your impulse and eat a chocolate covered calorie buster.

Since the decade I was born, the number of overweight children has doubled.  Since the '90s the rate of obesity among adults has grown by more than 75 percent.  A weight gain of 11 to 18 pounds doubles a person's risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. 

Even with all the warnings, it's so easy to put health on the backburner.  So easy to backslide to McDonald's.  Eat a burger.  Side of fries.  Dip the fries in ranch.  Swallow it down with a Shamrock Shake. However, no matter how many times I backslide, seeing body transformations always inspire me to get it back into gear.  Whether I'm watching everyday obese folks on A&E's Heavy transform from pitiful sedentary blobs who can barely walk to 5K-running athletes, or celebrities like Valerie Burtinelli or Jennifer Hudson stick to a lifestyle change, I'm inspired.

Back in 2009, Cyn snapped this photo of J. Hud performing
 on the streets of Chicago at Oprah's 24th Season Kickoff party.
Before Weight Watchers, 5'9" Jennifer Hudson wore a Size 16.  It's now reported that she wears a Size 6.  AMAZING.  Valerie Burtinelli, also transformed with Jenny Craig.  Regardless of how anyone loses weight, the main takeaway is a tidbit of hope that I too will be able to have my "before" and "after" to show people and say, "Look at me.  Can you believe I used to look like this?  No really.  That was me."
TV star Valerie Bertinelli's amazing weight loss
Photo from DietsInReview.com

Weight loss is no overnight success, but as I used to remind myself when I struggled to complete a five-year college program in four years, es mejor viajar con esperanza que llegar -   it's better to travel with hope than to arrive.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Finish each day and be done with it

Bday girl - Age 27

This week:

Birthday - I turned 27.  Went out for an Italian dinner and had two desserts to celebrate.  Got some sweet gifts from friends and family and I am very grateful for all the Birthday wishes, and for all the family and friends in my life.  :)

Workouts - Poor aka none.  Walked quite a bit around downtown Chicago for a commute/errands.  Moving on...

Food - Started counting/logging my daily calories and was amazed that on my first day of counting I ate 2,500 in ONE day!  I'm aiming to eat 1,500 day.

NEW Goals - Eat 1,500 cals/day;  stay active daily; hope to burn 300/day

Exhibit A
Overall, this week I was pretty lazy and overindulgent.  My exercise and food goals didn't go as planned. 

Exhibit B

But when life gives you lemons, turn them into lemonade, drink it and be done with it -- or as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it,  "Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

Song of the moment....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Think like Charlie Sheen, lose weight

I'm a huge fan of positive thinking.   Daily, I see the power of having a positive perspective. Positive thinking is part of why I got my first job, it's why I've lost weight in the past, why I'm going to meet my fitness goals in the future and why Charlie Sheen feels the only thing he's addicted to right now is winning.

Weight perspective - What's in five pounds?
5 lbs of fat (left) vs. 5 lbs of muscles (right)
Over the last few years I've gained weight.  However, this gives the opportunity to lose weight, learn about my body and push forward.   And in true Charlie Sheen-like thinking, as I make progress toward my goals, I find any contribution to those goals as positive.  A 5-min walk?   I'm on my way to slimming down!  25 crunches?  Getting so close.  Running a mile?  I'm pretty much on my way to running a marathon.  ;)

Here's what David Leonhardt, creator of The Happy Guy says about perspective...

What do happiness and success have in common?

Both are a matter of perspective. This point is well expressed in an
article I once read in "The Toastmaster" magazine. A teenager sat next
to Albert Einstein at a public gathering. The teenager asked Einstein
what he did for a living. He replied that he studied physics. The
astonished teenager said, "At your age! I finished physics two years

Think about what you do for a living, for hobbies, for your family,
etc.  How do you describe what you do? More important, how does your own
description about it make you feel? If your description does not sound
like you are a success, maybe it is time to find a new description.