5 Reasons Running May Not Help You Lose Weight

OK, nevermind.

Remember how I’d been going to the gym and using the elliptical 4 mornings during the week? Well, according to the above article that may have fucked up my metabolism and have a part in screwing up my weight. 

BUTbut… I ran 5k twice last week and I almost enjoyed it and I’d like to keep doing it at least once a week. I ran for 31-33 minutes at a time so I’m thinking that might not be overdoing it too much. 

This above article really drove home the need to do more weight training. I went to an Ashtanga/Iyengar-heavy yoga class last night and aside from my Saturday morning class, I’m going to do my best to stay away from Vinyasa/Power/Fire/Body Assault yoga classes. 

And then, this morning, I used my arm weights and did a couple free weight exercises and then put on my Barre DVD and worked on the arm module and about half of the core module. I’m going to use the shit out of that DVD.

This morning I also noticed that eating cold foods in the morning don’t sit well in my stomach. Back to oatmeal for me! #protein 

5 Reasons Running May Not Help You Lose Weight

Weighty

I began a month or so back to give my weight a little bit of… weight in my mission to tone up for the spring, summer, fall… and for life. I talked about how I gained a few pounds over the winter and it was annoying me. To track my progress (or lack of progress), I began to weigh myself once a week on Wednesday mornings after my workout before beginning my day. I found that my weight fluctuates a lot:

  • 4/20: 159.1
  • 4/27: 158
  • 5/4: 156.6
  • 5/11: 159
  • 5/18: 156.8

Before the brutally, painfully cold winter, I was hovering between 151-154. 

What I forgot to recognize was that this weight gain could be partially from muscle gain. I do the elliptical and now use weights 3-4 times per week. Does anyone know if that could result in muscle gain? (The elliptical use, I mean, as using weights definitely causes muscle gain.) An as aside, I’m currently eating around 1300 calories/day. I know I need to up my protein and fiber intake, for sure. 

I know my weight doesn’t make me a good or bad person and it’s not even a particularly good indicator of general health if you’re in a safe range (obviously if you’re 300lbs and 5′4″, there’s an issue), but it’d be nice loose 5 or so pounds which shouldn’t be all that hard because I lost around 40 initially.

Am I about to give up peanut butter and cupcakes? No. Peanut butter is a food group to me. That’s probably why weighing 147 again will never be possible (which is what I weighed at my lowest when I first lost all of my weight, in a healthy way, in 2011-2012). And overall, I generally like how I look so I’m not willing to purge or starve myself. Please, I like food way too much to not eat it or waste it by regurgitating it. I might try to stop eating so much Italian bread though (the kind you get at restaurants). That shit is great but it’s mostly empty calories.

There probably isn’t really any advice that anyone could give because I like what I like, but i just thought I’d put it out there. 

And Just Like That

I posted last week about changing up my fitness routine and I did. I stopped doing 30 minutes of the same thing three mornings a week and it’s been awesome. 

Instead of 30 minutes on the elliptical, I’m now doing 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes of hand weights (is that what they’re called? I don’t know). I feel like the weights get my heart going faster than the elliptical. I miss out on that last 10 minutes of Morning Joe, but that’s okay. The news is crap anyways. 

I also resolved to start doing my barre DVD (at least the arms part) regularly again – meaning 2-3 times per week. I’ve re-introduced crunches (on a medicine ball) into my routine too. 

I cooked last night and have a bunch of food ready to eat so no more eating lunch at Dig Inn (because while it’s better than Schnippers, it can’t be all that good to eat regularly). 

Remember: if you want to change your routine, you can. Just like that

Springtime Rant

So, I’m wearing a black dress today (#newyorker) and it’s a little short. In fact it’s a little too short. I’m pretty sure I shrank this dress in the dryer a few months ago and haven’t worn it since.

But is it really shorter just because it shrunk or because of my winter weight that’s hanging on like an annoying toddler? I’m really trying not to stress the 5 pounds that I’ve gained in the winter months but the struggle is real. I’m eating lots of vegetables and really only snacking on pretzels (I know, processed, ugh). I think I need to eat out less and cook more. 

When I “went out” (meaning I had some friends meet me at a neighborhood bar for wings, beer, and cake before being home by midnight) for my birthday last weekend, I had five beers. That’s usually 2-3 more beers that I’ll ingest in a weekend so maybe that’s the culprit for feeling shitty this week. Then there’s also shark week. So, yes, it’s probably a culmination of all of those.

Digression re: booze: I only really drink on the weekend and not that much like – 2 beers max. Sometimes I’ll go out and have one beer during the week. So I don’t think it’s my alcohol intake that’s making me feel gross. 

Here’s what my eating usually looks like during the week:

  • Breakfast: Lately it’s been a pear/banana/almond milk/almond butter /spinachsmoothie or a packet of organic oatmeal with 1.5tbsp of creamy peanut butter and 1 tbsp of jam mixed into it, and coffee.
  • Snack: A Hershey’s chocolate nugget or a couple of pretzel sticks. And green tea.
  • Lunch: Veggies and protein from Dig Inn, or some spiralized vegetables in olive oil from home with some kind of cheese or protein, or today it was chicken schwarma in a pita.
  • Post Lunch: Coffee and/or green tea and usually a peanut butter cookie Larabar. And maybe veggie chips or more pretzels.
  • Dinner: Usually it’s a leftover rice dish, or spiralized veggie noodles, or Greek yogurt with frozen fruit in it.
  • Post Dinner: Tea and something chocolate. 

I digress… BUT! the weather is finally nicer so I can start running outside again. I think the elliptical is getting a little monotonous in the mornings and I’m not sure how much effect it’s having on my health anymore. 

I still downward dog regularly, duh.

I think I should go back to being super committed to the barre DVD that I have and do more than just the arms. I also want to use the actual weights in my gym. I don’t want to look muscular, but I know that weight lifting is super beneficial to burning calories efficiently and getting in shape, so why not?

That’s my minddump for the week. If you have any suggestions or where I’m going wrong with my food, leave a comment. Thank you for listening. 😉

New York Kinda Morning

The universe apparently thought 30 minutes on the elliptical on Tuesday morning wasn’t enough exercise. When I made my way to the train around 8:30, commuters were exiting in a huff and I knew there was an issue with the train. I asked the MTA attendant if a train was going to arrive and she said something like “yes, but I don’t know when and there hasn’t been a train for a while.”

So helpful.

Instead of trying to figure out what was going on, I walked back up and attempted futilely to get on the downtown bus to catch the express a dozen or so blocks away. Everyone else on my line had the same idea so the bus was asked and I just decided to walk it.

Inhaling the morning air, getting my heart rate going (yet again), and stopping for a coffee at Plowshares was a way more ideal situation than waiting to get on a packed train.

But my journey wasn’t over yet. Plain impatience lead to my walking another 8 blocks once the express train arrived at Penn Station. More chilled air and finishing my coffee led me finally to my office. Only about 20 minutes later than usual (not late though, as I’m an early bird).

I could lament about how much the MTA blows (sometimes it does) but mostly I’m just grateful that I had the opportunity for the morning walk. I’m always thankful that my commute is on a train (where I can read), or at the very least, via walking. Because despite all the ways the MTA annoys me (and my fellow denizens of New York, I presume), it’s still the best damn transit system in the best damn city in the entire world.

And I get to live here.

So done.

This morning, just a few minutes ago actually, I finished doing 115 sit-ups (not crunches) for the last day of the Six Week Ab Challenge. I repeated the 6-Week Ab Challenge for the second time, this time on my own without a community on Facebook for support and accountability. 

And you know what? The support group helps a lot. i missed it a little bit!. And without having a spot to post every day that my sit-ups were done, I skipped a day here or there. But for the most part did all of my crunches (40/day the first week, increasing by 15/week until you’re at 115/day).

Leading up to and especially after the holidays I felt sloppy so I decided why the hell not, let’s do the ab work again! My abs look good, as in there’s toning there obviously, but they still look soft. I’m going to succumb to the fact that maybe I’m not supposed to have rock hard abs, but that’s okay.

After the first time i finished, I kept on doing 60-70 sit-ups every morning for stomach upkeep. But this time I’m not so sure. My morning routine consists of meditating, doing sit-ups, stretching, and doing the elliptical for 30 minutes. My least favorite part of that is the sit-ups. 

Instead of torturing myself (by which I mean the hassle of rolling and unrolling my yoga blanket as support – the struggle is real), I might skip them. Maybe I’ll do them at night instead. 

Fitness compromise with myself. 

My Post-December Detox

I eat pretty well on a regular basis. Ask my boyfriend. He’s continually astounded by how well I eat. I don’t think it’s THAT good, but he does, so let’s go with that. But then the month of December comes and the snacking goes to shit.

December is always a difficult month – lots of crap to eat in the office and then the holidays come and you’re told to splurge because “it’s the holidays,” and then before you know it, you’ve gained 5 pounds. Let me first say that 5 pounds is no reason to get your panties in a twist. Honestly, between water weight and what we’re eating on a daily basis (did you eat a burger last night or a salad?), I don’t think it’s crazy to fluctuate in the 3-5 pound range from week to week. (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. I’m just going off my own experiences and things I’ve read.)

Even though I was making my own lunches (and oftentimes my own dinners), exercising regularly (5-6 days a week), and living in a city where your feet are your main mode transportation (I ❤ you, NYC), I think my weight still went up a bit in December. At the beginning of the month I was still hopping on the scale every few days. But after I realized that the number was making me feel like shit, while I didn’t physically feel like shit, I thought that I’d better cool it. At least for December.

And so that’s what I did. I splurged, ate what I wanted (but not to the point of sickness), exercised a lot, and didn’t step a foot on the scale. If I felt sluggish one day, I’d work out some more (having a gym in my building’s basement is the best). But now… now December is over, New Year’s Day is over, so it’s time to get my eating back on track. There won’t be cookies and chocolate in the office anymore so this should be relatively simple. Here’s my detox plan…

Replace coffee with green tea: I’m not totally getting rid of coffee – I love making coffee in the morning. The process is almost therapeutic for me. I love the smell and setting the timer for steeping. The only thing I don’t really like the taste. Of the coffee. So sue me, but whatever, that’s why there’s honey and whipped cream. I’ll continue to drink coffee in the morning because it’s my crack but I’m going to go back to drinking tea first (which is something that I always used to do before I started getting into the groove of using my Fellow). I’m generally of the belief that drinking caffeine on an empty stomach is a recipe for feeling like shit. It sends your digestive system into overdrive and bloats you.

Go to the gym three mornings per week: Thirty minutes on the elliptical and I’m golden. I was doing four mornings before the New Year, but I want to have two mornings to wake up slower, do my 8-minute flow, and drink my tea in peace.

Yoga at least 3 times per week: I’ve been doing yoga 3+ times per week since 2011. I’m going to continue this, obviously. Even if I’m not sweating after every class, it’s still beneficial to move and stretch.

Continue to make all of my own lunches: I need to make more turkey chili STAT and find a few new soup recipes. I’m going to keep eating warm, soft foods during the winter (Ayurveda, FTW). More risotto, too! 

Eat less dairy: Since I consumed my cheese for the year on New Year’s Day, I think I need to eat less dairy. Dairy is gross and pure fat. I’m going to go back to not keeping any cheese in my fridge and only coconut milk.

Drink 3 cups of green day per day: This is just good for your metabolism, so duh.

Bring snacks with me to work: You know what the best way to eat shit during the work day is? Not bringing your own snacks with you. Then you end up eating whatever is left around in the office kitchen, or going out to get a cookie or some other processed nonsense that will sit in your gut for an extra week.

Eat minimal processed foods: My guilty pleasure are the peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets from Trader Joe’s and those are processed, but I can pronounce all the ingredients, so I’m giving that a goddamn pass. I’m really into apples and carrots these days. 

Meditating: Always. Twice a day. I’m going to try to incorporate longer sessions into my evenings or weekends a couple of times a week though. It’s so important and so relaxing.

I think that’s about it. If you see me posting pictures of crap food on my Instagram, yell at me.