At home vs At the Gym

November 11, 2013

Man is this post long over due….

I “recently” (cough cough: early October: cough cough) spent some time out in Salt Lake City, Utah for work and while I was there, I had the pleasure of some of the best vegan food I’ve had in a long time and even managed to not step foot in a Starbucks once the entire time I was there (A staple for conference goers everywhere…), choosing to explore the local breakfast and coffee options instead, a personal accomplishment of mine.

On top of all of that, I had serious first for me, which was being dedicated enough to a workout to take advantage of a hotel gym to keep up with my scheduled sessions.    Since it was the first time I’ve set foot in a gym other than my basement for the first time since February, I thought it’d be fun to compare my experiences between the two.

First things first: Cardio. 

I have a treadmill at home, but the week I was in Utah was the first that my training program was adding some medium intensity cardio back into the mix.   There are a few things that I came to realize.

1.  Never underestimate the value of a good quality treadmill.  I have my brothers hand-me-down treadmill in my basement, for which I am extremely grateful.  But its a rickity and wobbly machine that doesn’t have proper incline control (read:  none at all).  But I think the most important thing I realized while in Utah, is that good treadmills are a bit softer on the knees.   For 3 days in a row, I banged out solid cardio sessions which were enjoyable and a good workout and I was actually a bit sorry to see the time end.  Compare that to at home, where its painful, sluggish and slow.  Lesson learned, a) get outside and run b) save up for a decent treadmill (sure beats fighting for one at the gym!).

2.  Somewhat related to being on the treadmill, is the fact that I was willing to be on a treadmill.  One of the reasons I first started running is embarrassingly non-inspirational.  I waltzed into my apartment gym ready to elliptical my little heart out.  The only problem?  No ellipticals were free.  No problem, I’d just hop on a bike and work out (steadfastly avoiding that treadmill), but they were full also.  Strangely, the row of treadmills was empty, but people will milling about stalking ellipticals like it was their job.  So instead of wasting my time, I reluctantly got on a treadmill (and voila! A blog was born…).  The moral of this story?  Is I saw my previous self walk into that gym every.morning.   The amount of eyerolling, foot stomping and exasperated sighing that I witness simply because the ellipticals were occupied was both amusing and disheartening.  I was suddenly very grateful that I had the ability to work out in so many different ways.

Next up – LIFTING.

Oh man. I didn’t think I’d ever miss weight lifting machines as much as I have in the past few months.  I love free weights and will forever believe they are the best form of lifting.  But lately I’ve felt a bit limited with the exercises I can safely do (like heavier weights for squats), or even think about about doing (lat pulldowns, leg press, etc).  There are some quick fixes, hamstring curls/leg extensions with dumbbells etc, or front/hack squats to replace the quad targeting for leg extensions, but I have been absolutely missing targeting my back muscles or incline exercises.  Funny though, while it was really nice to use those machines (and do a proper pull up/chin up, I managed to eek out 3-5 each time (leg kicking and all), after which a separate gym goer promptly walked over and banged out about 30 without breaking a sweat – sigh.), I found I missed simple things, like my squat bar (seriously, what gym doesn’t have a barbell.   I also had the pleasure of a workout partner for the week.  Which came in VERY handy after spending hours wandering around a city and eating delicious food.  Sometimes a little outside influence is necessary 🙂

I came back thoroughly proud of my workout dedication and extremely burnt out.  As I worked through some minor jet lag and general conference/travel exhaustion, the last thing I wanted to do was prep meals, wander downstairs after work and lift  heavy.  I took a glance over my workout logs (another reason I am super glad I kept them) and realized that it had been about 7 weeks straight of very intense lifting, 5-6 days a week.  For someone who’s used to those workouts, it starts to be second nature, but for this little gal, it was definitely time for a breather.   I also glanced over my food logs and was a bit skeptical of the amount of calories I was taking in (and with the lack of cardio in the first part of the program, not burning off as much).  I did a few more calculations and reading and came to the conclusion that I was probably taking in about 500 more calories than I truly needed, which would explain my overall discontent with body image and feeling sluggish.  I was so focused on protein and carb ratios, that I completely overlooked my veggie intake also.  Instead of my clothes fitting better, they were beginning to feel a bit too tight.  Oops.  So for the 2 weeks or so after my conference, I worked out moderately, but really focused on not focusing too much on the diet. I ate what felt healthy (and much much lighter).   My natural caloric intake came back down to a far more reasonable intake amount and I now feel a TON better.  After a few days of 100% no workout rests, I kept up my workouts, but instead of 5-6 days a week, I cut back to 3-4 days a week and kept the weights a little lighter.    Slowly but surely I’m working myself through the burnt out phase.  I’m keeping an eye on inspirational sources and trusting my food instincts a lot more, instead of focusing just on numbers.  Certainly nothing groundbreaking, the body is this crazy thing that requires a lot of fine tuning when it comes to workouts.  So its just a general moving forward and tweaking as I go.  Which I’m proud of doing, rather than saying “nope! not for me, peace out, workouts!”

Now that I’m starting to feel a little more inspired, I’m beginning to pay a little more attention to my at home gym.  I’m still not convinced that I need a gym membership, so I thought I’d give a peek into how I’m getting through some hurdles I’ve found.

The Squat Rack

The Squat Rack

My biggest concern  when working out at home is safety, especially since I workout solo without spotters.  As my weights for squats went up, the need for a “squat rack” became pretty apparent.  I have two sets of 10 lb weights, a set of 5s and a set of 20s.  And anything above 25 lbs it gets a little sketchy trying to clean and press the bar on to my neck (body pumpers will know this move).  So the solution, was this rack.  It puts the bar just below shoulder height for me, so that I can easily get under the bar and not have to worry about getting the weights up and over my head.

My "incline" set up

My “incline” set up

One of the staples of weight lifting, is to target the same muscles from different angles.  Think, regular bench press vs an incline bench press. The above set up is my quick fix for any incline exercises until I get a bench that can be adjusted for different angles.  Its just my exercise ball propped against an old fridge (or wall, etc) in the basement.  Its definitely not perfect, but it works for now.

Exercise bands

Exercise bands

My last quick fix so far is the use of exercise bands for exercises like tricep pushdowns or seated rows.  The above set up is what I use for the pushdowns, if I’m doing a row, I wrap the bands around a pillar instead of a ceiling beam (which incidentally is also where I try to build up to some efficient pull ups).   The obvious downside to this fix is the lack of added weight resistance.  I do find with the tricep pushdowns that if I’ve worked my arms out hard enough previous to this exercise that the bands will be extremely sufficient in fatiguing the muscles.  But for the rows, lat pull downs, etc, I usually end up wishing I had more weight to pull.  I usually try to find different exercises that target the same muscles that use dumbbells instead.

So there you have it – that’s the current state of my at home gym, with a pretty decent set of dumbbells to go with.  I’m happy with what I’ve pulled together so far, but next up on the list is definitely a proper pull up bar, a bench and I’ve seen a few online tutorials for putting together a lat pulldown machine.  I also think I’d like to seriously look into a decent treadmill or elliptical machine.  Its definitely not perfect and I absolutely miss the amenities of a fully equipped gym, but I also don’t miss waiting for a machine (cardio or otherwise) and the added few steps of working up the motivation to get out of the house and to the gym.   Plus, you can’t beat having 2 four-legged furry workout buddies to keep you company!

Happy Monday ya’ll!

xo

p.s. How is it the 2nd full week of November already?? I’ve been doing my daily “I”m grateful for…” but keeping it private, in a little notebook that I carry with me everyday.  I’ve really been enjoying the practice and plan on keeping it up even after November is done.

p.p.s.  Thank you so much to whoever nominated me for the Mobbies ( A Baltimore based Blog award).  I’m super sorry I haven’t been too timely with posts lately.  The above mentioned burnout recovery involved some nights of complete self reflection.

 

 

Homemade Ramen Bowls

October 13, 2013

Its a point of pride for me that I can come up with tasty and fun meals that are vegetarian or vegan and keep the masses happy.  But there are definitely times when we look at our weekly menu and 1.  NOTHING sounds appealing and 2.  We notice “sandwiches” make it on the list 3 different times.  Chances are, when we get to this point, we wind up with more frozen pizzas and less money in our pockets.  Not to mention a significant dip in that “healthy”  aspect.  Oops.

This weekend in an attempt to fix that – I decided to try my hand at something fun and pretty easy to do.  Homemade ramen bowls!

Complete with Sake (which was...not our thing)

Complete with Sake (which was…not our thing)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since it was Saturday and I had some time, I decided to go all out on these, I took a cue from Post Punk Kitchen and made my own broth by simmering some chopped onion, ginger, garlic and carrots in water.   To finish it off, I strained the liquid out and whisked in some Miso, Mirin and Liquid Aminos before cooking up the noodles in the broth.   I found packages of ramen Noodles (I think my package called them Chinese Noodles) in my grocery store that weren’t the 99 cent instant ramen lunches, but I imagine in a pinch just buying the instant ramen noodle packs would work and you could leave out the spice packet (Bonus to making your own broth?  Saying goodbye to that unbelievably salty seasoning…).

I topped our ramen bowls with marinated and grilled sliced Portobellas and baby Bok Choy, bean sprouts, green onions and cubed tofu for me.  I didn’t bother heating up my tofu, just cubed it up and let it warm up a bit in my bowl of soup.  I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t mind the taste of tofu, cooked or uncooked and have been known to eat it straight out of the container… 🙂

Ramen 2

We topped off the meal with a glass of sake, which as I mentioned in the above image, really not our thing.  Maybe it was the bottle I picked up, but we both ended up switching out for a beer about halfway through the meal.   There was also a side of vegan spring rolls that I picked up from the frozen section, although most of my appetite was dedicated to the bowl in front of me.

A tasty way to break out of a dining rut and pretty easy to boot! It could be made even easier on a weeknight, since the noodles cook so quickly to just whip up some veggie broth (I use the bouillon cubes to control sodium) and quick cook up the veggies.  I also read that the  broth freezes pretty well, so there’s that option too.

Now…something else new to try?

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

xo

Week 4

October 5, 2013

I am finding that no matter what the workout, no matter how much I love it or am determined to stick to a schedule – there will always be that lagging period.  You know?  That time where you feel like you’re not making any gains, where the training is more of a struggle to start and sometimes get through and you body is just tired.

I’ve been through enough exercise phases to know that this is temporary.  I also know that I feel this way almost every time I get about 4 weeks into of consistent anything.  The initial excitement wears off and your body works hard to readjust to everything you’re asking it to do.  I’m finishing up my 4th week of consistent and (relatively) heavy weight training.  I’m doing 5-6 days a week of lifting splits, targeting all of the muscle groups at least once.  So I’m bound to be tired – not to mention my body is getting used to a fairly new way of eating.

Eating.  Oh man the food.  Lifting itself is not a new concept to me, I enjoyed lifting in highschool and even maintained half assed lifting routines through college and grad school and even while running.  But this is the first time I’ve seriously lifted to gain some muscle mass rather than use it as an aside to my cardio.  I’ve been reading up a lot about it, because I want to do it right and healthy.   One of the biggest differences for me, is the change in eating.  In order to gain muscle, you have to eat more food and not burn as many calories.  i.e. lay off the cardio.  Its hard for me, since I’m a fairly petite girl measuring up to a solid 5’2 (and given the height of my mom and my dad, I’d say I’m lucky) to eat that much food.  I’m sorry to say I didn’t eat that much to begin with, so I was probably not eating enough to start out.  But to up the calories 200-400 a day PLUS adding about 1g protein/lb bodyfat.  So, I’m trying to get approximately 110 grams of protein in a day.  Which, lemme tell ya – as someone who eats a largely vegan diet, it ain’t that easy.    I’ve been experimenting with Seitan and tofu dishes to try and mimic as best as possible the lean protein non-plant based eaters can get from a piece of chicken or lean ground turkey etc.  I’ve touched on it before, but the biggest trick is balance.  Much of the vegetarian or vegan protein options have a fairly high carbohydrate to protein balance compared to meat.  For a non-“bulking” diet, that’s not as much of a deal as is for bulking, because they’re still incredibly healthy options (bulking diet or otherwise).   At the end of the day I can feel pretty full and just uninterested in dinner or a post workout protein shake.  I’ve been feeling this more lately than not and I think one of the biggest culprits is having a second protein shake earlier in the day.  Great for getting in the protein, but dang if it doesn’t make me full.  Which leads me to my 2nd issue:

The other major problem I’ve been struggling with with this “bulking” diet is that I’m focusing largely on the Macros – Fats, Carbs and Protein.  Which isn’t a bad thing, except I tend to focus so much on getting in enough carbs for each per meal, that I tend to skip over the VEGGIES.  The mainstay staple of a plant-based diet.  I already know from experience that I feel best when I’m eating fresh veggies at least 2-3 times a day, usually in the form of a nice big salad at lunch.  Enter this lovely friend:

Journal

One of the major benefits from having a workout journal is that I can look back on the past few weeks and if I’ve been dedicated to keeping track of what I’ve been eating and how I’ve felt each day, and I like to think I have been, which gives me a great way to figure out what days I felt my worst and see if there was a correlation.  In most cases, that correlation came from not enough veggies.  Most weight lifters tend to consider these as “free foods”, because yes, they are carbs, but they’re so full of fiber and so low in calories that they tend to make very little difference in the end.  Plus, they’re essential in just feeling better.

So – going into week 5-8 I have a few goals for myself.  I’m happy with the groundwork I’ve laid, developing some good muscle endurance, making working out each night a habit, enough to the point that rest days drive me nuts –  its good to know that I have the self-discipline to at least force myself to start.  In most cases, if I start, I finish and so far that’s been the case for each night I think “man, but I am just so sore” or “tired” or “need a break”. I promise myself if I start and I’m just not feeling it or if I just phone it in, I can stop and start it up again the next day.  So far, that hasn’t been necessary and I’ve pushed myself to lift like I mean it each night.   I’m proud of how I’ve researched out exercise alternatives to the lifts I can’t perform at home and the creativity I’ve used to make use of resistance bands and ankle weights.   I haven’t seen much change in actual muscle size yet – which, i’m not looking for much, but I have read that it takes at least 4-6 weeks before your muscles are even ready to start  to hypertrophy.  I’m taking measurements each week and “progress photos” every couple of weeks to keep track.  I’ve done a fairly good job at not stepping on the scale with the wrong mindset.  So, for weeks 5-8 I’m going to work on my food balance and really working on a mind to muscle connection.    More veggies – really honing in on that caloric intake that I’m feeling comfortable and not overly full, but still knowing I’m providing enough calories for my body to get to work.    And definitely working on focusing on each muscle group that I’m trying to target for each lift.  For some lifts, its pretty easy – biceps, shoulder presses, even my squats, split squats (devil), etc etc., but others are a lot harder, my back, my delts, triceps and calves.   So far its been fun though and I’m absolutely enjoying this new surge of “beast mode” I’ve got goin on each day.

Finally, in the spirit of what I’ve been writing about, I’d love to share a blog post that my friend recently shared with me.  It really touches on a lot of great points about being healthy as a female and what it really means.  http://sophieologie.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/1200-calories/  Take a read if you have time this weekend.

Otherwise – I have lifted my butt off this week, so I’m about to enjoy (maybe?) a nice couple of rest days around the house.

Beast mode

Beast Mode! Grrrrr baby

 

Have a great weekend ya’ll!

xo

 

 

Ever feel like you need a serious brainstorming coffee session with friends to get the positive, creative, motivation ideas flowing again?  After a hell of a summer, you could even argue first half of 2013,that is definitely what I feel I need. 

I’ve mentioned it before, but there have been ups and downs these past 9 months.  Its been a roller coaster for sure, from finding, buying and moving into a house, securing a job, losing 3 people that I love to cancer this summer alone – so trying to reestablish a sense of identity and purpose at home and at work has been exhaustingly and frustratingly difficult.  Whether its coming up with new ideas for work, or even finding a workout that resonates with me, its been all ebb and very little flow it feels like.

A few weeks ago I was dreading another week of treadmill workouts or outdoor runs and as a consequence I was looking around for different cardio workouts and settled on the Insanity DVD.   I only just started it yesterday, because in addition to the Insanity DVD, I’m working my way back to a workout that I’ve always come back to since high school – weight training, heavy weight training.  Like I’ve said before, I have no ambition to become the next female hulk, but I have a lot of admiration for the aesthetic muscle physique of figure competitors.   So I’ve been working towards that as a new physical goal.  I’m not sure I’ll ever get to the point of competing, but I’d like to see where heavy lifting can take me and my body personally.  A few years back I got into what was arguably the best shape of my life running the half marathon, but I can’t deny the lack of enthusiasm I had for the majority of my runs, especially the longer ones.  There are so many more options for cardio, that my first thought was why was I forcing myself to log miles that were miserable to me?  There was no mental clarity and there was certainly no joy in it, save the few early morning easy does it runs.   Even in high school, I opted for sprints rather than distance runs.  I have nothing but the greatest respect for distance runners, but it just isn’t my thing.  But once I made the decision to turn off the treadmill and pick up my dumbbells again, workouts have been enjoyable, I’m craving them at the end of the day and HATE HATE HATE rest days.  I feel completely refreshed, I’m constantly reading up on different exercises and training techniques.  I’ve revamped my nutrition to focus on maximum muscle gain, which is especially challenging when eating a mostly Vegan diet.  A lot of body builders rely on high protein, low carb foods such as eggs, chicken and other lean meats, whereas the vegetarian and vegan alternatives, while still impressively high in protein, are still more carb heavy than lean meats.  While this isn’t a major issue now, it does affect my macronutrient ratio (Carbs, proteins and fats) and if I’m ever in a contest prep mode, carb cycling will be especially difficult.   But for now, I’m tracking my meals for the macro content mostly and to make sure I’m getting ENOUGH calories (another major mind shift from the all cardio all the time mentality I had been struggling with).   Lately I’ve been relying on veggie tofu scrambles and protein powders and have gotten creative in the kitchen with some baking (hello protein breads and homemade protein bars) and even tried my hand at making some Seitan this weekend for a high protein alternative. 

I’ve just finished week 2 of some heavy lifting and honestly , week one was a bit of a hodgepodge of workouts.  I’m taking measurements and progress pictures and logging all workouts and weights in a workout journal as well as taking appropriate weight training supplements like protein powder and BCAAs to try and promote muscle recovery and growth.  As for cardio? Long gone are the days of distance running, which can actually do less for muscle growth than HIIT and sprints.  I’m trying to incorporate at least one day of sprints into my workouts during the week and slowly make my way through the Insanity DVDs.  Its been strange, since a big part of gaining muscle mass is to gain mass overall, but the trick – is to do it in a smart way, with protein and complex carbs, rather than higher fat and sugar. 

So far its been fun and I’m grateful for the resurgence of motivation when it comes to my workouts, which has filtered into other parts of life at home. I’m happier, feel far more accomplished in the evenings and enjoy sitting down on the couch for some Football and Baseball more than ever now.   Now…if only I had the same aha moment at work…

Happy Monday ya’ll!  Thanks for listening to this hodgepodge rambling so early in the week!

xo

 

Is that a loofah?

September 6, 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILjjRCdfOyI

Because its Friday – and really, who doesn’t need a little bit of ghost buster/gagnam style mashup to start their weekend off right?

Also of note this week

This insightful article about Vegans and B12 supplements.

I am two days into the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 dvd and 1 day into her killer buns and thighs workouts.  Both sets had my muscles burning during the workout, but again, didn’t leave me overly fatigued afterwards.  One of the things I enjoy about the format so far is that by repeating the workouts for a set of 7-10 days at a time, I can really gauge my increase in strength and endurance for the moves.  Not to mention enjoying learning a few new moves to incorporate into my routine sans dvd workout.  I also managed to sneak in another outside run where I shaved off some time from my slower run this past weekend.  Going forward, I really want to complete all 30 days of each DVD, since I know consistency is key for any routine.  But I’ve also been morphing my goals and ideas for what I want my next personal challenge to be.  I’m hoping to maintain my running better than I have in my past, although I may not be looking at major distances right now, I firmly believe that running can be a good health maintenance workout.

Secondly, my friend is starting Insanity in the next few weeks and as a motivating factor, I offered up       challenge that I would complete it at the same time.   Anyone I know who has done it and based on reading about it, reviews etc say make it clear it is an intense workout, one which I’m looking forward to, but also nervous about.  It’ll be a good exercise (no pun intended) in self-motivation and pushing myself to the max.

Thirdly, watching all of the insanity videos, etc – really makes me crave the non-fitness competition esque abs and nice toned muscles.  I don’t expect to walk around looking like my stomach was chiseled out of marble, but the women in those videos are certainly something to aspire towards.  This goal will require a careful look at my eating regiment and figuring out a way to incorporate some heavier lifting alongside the bodyweight style workouts of Insanity.

And finally:

The budlight commercial from last night’s football game.  “What’s Queen-No?”

Enjoy your weekend friends! We are off to a fun little beer festival and looking forward to some time with family and friends.

xo

Back on track: how

September 4, 2013

Last week I let on that this week would be all about getting “back on track”.  In an attempt to do so I spent a good bit of time thinking about how I wanted to do that – workouts, mentally and nutritionally.

On the workout front, I managed to finally, finally get back outside for a run.  Since moving, I developed an inexplicable aversion to running outside in my neighborhood, for the ENTIRE summer.  Thoughts like “oh, the kids will see me and what will they THINK?”  would sneak through my head.   And I am the first to admit they are perhaps some of the most ridiculous and ludicrous thoughts, ever.  When I trained for my half marathon, I’d be out in the snow and rainy winter nights in OTHER people’s neighborhoods to get in my runs, but yet, running in my own had my butt parked firmly inside.  I did get in some treadmill runs, but staring at my basement wall is oh.so.interesting. when it comes to helping those minutes crawl by.   It wasn’t a long run, persay – about 3.5 miles, but after limiting myself to mile interval runs lately, it was nice to see that my body could still run for distances more appropriate for a full length “run”.  And of course, like most things – once I got started, it was one of those “wait, why was I worried about this again?” moments.  Which we all saw coming, I’m sure.   I topped off the run with 2 hours of mowing the lawn, with a non-self propelled mower.  You never fully appreciated hills in a yard until you have to haul a lawn mower up them for 2 hours in the heat. Yikes.  Needless to say, with a run and the mowing – my legs were pretty tired by the end of my morning. 

I’ve also decided to try something fun and new with my workout routines this month to keep things interesting and frankly hold myself accountable.  I’ve never really been a fan of workout dvds, mostly because I feel pretty ridiculous marching in place while staring at ladies in pastel leotards and legwarmers (thanks mom, for that childhood memory).  Although, I would probably sweat to the oldies with Richard Simmons anyday of the week.  Kidding.  Sort’ve.   Moving on.  Plus, I never stuck with a dvd long enough to see any “results”. 

I will always be an advocate of regular, no excuses exercise – hopping on a bike, getting in a walk, a run or lifting – etc etc.  But like I said, trying to keep things fresh and fun over here, plus with my legs being sore and overall just tired from the weekend of moving  – I purchased the Jillian Michaels 30 days to Ripped DVD workout series and her killer butt and thighs dvd (a constant trouble spot for me).  The Ripped is a 4 week series of workouts featuring her 3-2-1 system of 3 strength moves, 2 cardio moves and 1 set for abs for 30 minutes (including warm up and cool down), with 3 separate rounds per workout, changing it up each week for 30 days.  The purchase included a meal plan, but after giving it a brief glance over, I was pretty confident that my current eating habits, while could always do with some tweaking, don’t need a major overhaul.  Now,  I’m not kidding myself into thinking that these workouts alone will get me results that diligent cardio and weight training will ultimately do, but the goal for me is to incorporate the workouts on days that I’m not running or doing heavier lifting as a way to keep toned, gain endurance, etc.   So last night, with strict instruction to Brandon that if he dared to walk into the bedroom while I was working out he’d be toast, I went for round 1 of Ripped with Jillian Michaels.    The workout didn’t have me dripping with sweat, but my legs and arms were definitely tired by the end without feeling overly wasted from the workout.  I enjoyed that it wasn’t too “aerobic” in style and of course, I’m a big fan of working out multiple muscle groups with one strength move – which most of her moves incorporated.  There were also a good number of pushups and forced ab time, which I need – since I tend to wimp out on the abs in my own workouts (shame shame shame) and pushups are something I think are badass if you can do more than a few at a time.   I haven’t tried the butt and thighs workout yet, but may try that tonight with some cardio tacked on. 

And because being healthy isn’t just about what we eat and how we workout – I’ll leave you with some shots from our weekend, where I was determined to experience something beautiful, although the three don’t have to be mutally exclusive, which we proved this weekend – enjoying a morning of hiking in beautiful beautiful PA.   

Image

ImageHope everyone had a relaxing labor day weekend and are starting off the “new school year” right!  🙂

xo

Man – 2 miles.  2 miles and a lifting session.  That’s all I managed to get in for workouts this week.  To be fair, we had a few late nights and other “to dos” to take care of, but man.  2 miles and a lifting session.  2 workouts.  Bummer. 

But, miles are miles – as a good friend reminded me last night during my self loathing session.  And there are a few things I can learn from this week of laziness/somethingcameup/I’lldoittomorrow/thisonebitewon’thurt. 

1.  I am very competitive with myself.  Even if I know that 2 miles is all I’ll have time to squeeze in between steaming and sauteing dinner, I still hit that 2 mile mark and think “was that even worth it?”.  I felt this way during training.  And in the end its an incredibly unfair mindset.  Yes.  2 miles is ALWAYS worth it.  Walk it, jog it, run it, sprint it.  Less miles or more miles.  It is always worth it.  Even if it is hard to be ok with it and to not keep going. Worth it. 

2.  A week of guzzling water followed by a week of “another cup of decaf” “another mug of tea” and not a lot of water guzzling is a pretty effective way of showing the benefits of water. 

3.  Even if its visible only to me, a week of not working out consistently and giving in to the seemingly harmless snack cravings – has a definite effect. Physically and mentally. 

4.  Finding a balance between all of that is HARD. 

5.  Inspiration can be inspiring.  No inspiration can be numbing. 

6.  Weeks where I eat healthy and by all accounts should feel the need to workout are exactly the times when I WANT to workout and is easier to motivate myself to accomplish.  Weeks where I don’t eat as healthy and are logically the times that workouts need to step it up a bit to compensate are likewise the times that I don’t want to workout and find a million and one reasons not to.  Funny how that works…

So there you have it.  A nice list of things I have thought to myself this week. 

Also: That bourbon and grapefruit juice cocktail I told you about?  I made this one.   It tasted remarkably similar to a whiskey sour.  

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Which was good, but not what I was in the mood for.  Although its good to know I can get the same style drink without the mix.  So I finished off my night with that dirty martini I’d been craving.  

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Tonight I get to meet up with some long lost friends at an Irish pub to kick off the long weekend.  I’ve got big plans for bike rides, coffee on the couch, college football (!??!), a bottle of red wine and starting off on the right foot workout wise.  Hope everyone has a good labor day weekend planned!

xo