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. 😉

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. 

Laughing Into 2016

This picture is from last night. My boyfriend and I went to dinner at The Cellar for amazing mac’n’cheese and champagne before going to his best friend’s apartment for his annual New Year’s Eve party. I think in this photo I’m laughing because I just finished drinking all of the champagne (just kidding, but probably). 

There were lots of ups and downs, but it turns out that 2015 was lots of fun. I traveled to New Orleans, Chicago, as well as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia. 

I dated lots of questionable guys and then went on a date with someone who wasn’t my usual type (this was a plus as my type was usually a flaky loser disguised as ‘artsy’) and he ended up being a wonderful guy and I was so, so happy to be able to ring in a new year with him last night. 

I left a job that I loved because I felt like I was stagnating and i took a job that was presented to me with a higher salary and more opportunity only to be disappointed when it didn’t work out. But shit happens.

I threw a couple of successful parties during my first year in my apartment.

I strengthened some of my friendships and ended a couple of others that no longer served me.

I read 25 books. I saw tons of theatre. I went to a bunch of stellar concerts. I kept on meditating daily and took a meditation master class. I renovated my kitchen (with lots of help from my family, of course) and afterward I cooked a ton. I also de-cluttered, which was awesome. I watched all three Star Wars and saw the new one. I watched too many TV shows on Netflix and not enough movies in theatres. 

In 2016, I’m going to concentrate on really sorting out what I want to do professionally. I excel at everything that I’m super passionate about and if I can find myself in the practically-perfect job, I’ll fly. 

Being happy is also a top priority. Fitness is next. I will keep going to the gym more mornings than not, maybe finally do a handstand on my own, and tone my arms because I hate my arms. I’m going to keep de-cluttering my apartment. I want to play more guitar and journal more. I’m going to read another 25 books. I’m going to keep making time to see my friends, including trying to see those that I don’t get to see regularly. 

2015 was great, but 2016 will be even better. Onwards/Upwards.

Morning Glory

Since it’s starting to be darker and darker in the morning, it’s been realllllly hard to get out of bed and make it 7 flights down to my basement to go to the gym. I know: life is hard. So, instead I’ve been taking it easy and drinking tea, meditating, stretching, getting ready, and then walking a couple of miles before I get on the train (i live about 3 miles from my office). Today I listened to a podcast called The Bowery Boys and “Supernatural Stories of New York.” I’ll usually stop at The Hungarian Pastry Shop or Irving Farms for coffee along the way too. I like Plowshares on 102nd and Broadway too, but their takeaway cups are the worst.

I’m trying to take it easier during the week because I’m usually booked up 100% between yoga+shows+friends+errands. Last night I had to run or go to yoga, so I ran down to Trader Joe’s (2.12 miles) and then shopped. Running on Broadway is kind of a pain in the ass, but it was okay. I ran sub-10 minute miles which is way too fast. I was dead by the time I got to TJ’s. I’m starting to love/hate running again because it’s so mindless. Just one foot in front of the other.

I’m going to go to a yoga class and then make it home to chill out and hopefully be able to stream the democratic debates (#feelthebern). I also need to buy kale, so there’s that.

What’s your morning routine? 

(The above photo was actually taken during a sunset one night in the last month.)

Movies, Marshmallows, and Moving

I had planned on going to my first yoga class in three (3!!) weeks on Friday afternoon until I received a notification that there was a fire in the building. Well, damn. Elliptical in my building’s gym it was. 

The rest of Friday night was spent eating a delicious meal at Cascabel and watching Rosemary’s Baby with my dude. He really liked Rosemary’s Baby and I didn’t find it scary at all – just more silly than anything else. I was also admittedly falling asleep through parts of it. I just appreciated that they lived in The Dakota. 

On Saturday we went for a nice run, followed by a long walk back up to my apartment, and brunch at The Ellington. We both had some things to take care of during the day (I cleaned out my closet and reorganized the storage underneath my bed – score!) but we reconvened at night and watched Catching Fire (because he’s a good sport) and made s’mores in the microwave. Seriously, it’s the best snack ever.

Sunday was spent brunching at The Penrose with my friend Ben and then finding this $1,250 rare breed of short haired Persian cat in a pet store on the UES. That cat is huge and it’s only 5 months old. I know you shouldn’t get pets from pet stores, but he was SO cute. Should I put together a GoFundMe to rescue it from the pet shop? We went into the UES Housing Works where I bought a dress for a 1920′s themed seance party that I’m going to later this month and I saw the above dress which looks shockingly like Glinda’s from Wicked. I have no idea how much it is, but if you’re looking for a Halloween costume, you should totally buy it.

I hit up a yoga class on the UES afterwards (never again – the teacher kept the room freezing the entire time which to me is a big no-no), went grocery shopping, and started going through my pictures from Scandinavia. More photos to come, don’t worry….

Semi-normality.

I went to bed at 8pm on Monday night – I was exhausted – and woke up at 6am on Tuesday. That was awesome. I didn’t have any coffee all day either (and it was National Coffee Day – so bad). I wasn’t tired at all in the afternoon or at night. I had beaten jet lag! I went to bed on Tuesday night just before 10pm. This time I woke up around 5:45am. I wasn’t tired anymore, so I decided not to try to fight it and I got up and went down to the gym in my building. I ran 1.5 miles and then walked another .3 miles (+ 80 sit-ups). I was exhausted and called it quits.

With all of my extra time, I planned out my food for the day (1 cup greek yogurt with 2 tbsp of granola and 1/2c frozen cherries for breakfast, kale salad with chicken, cabbage, 1/3 of an avocado, and peppers for lunch, and two snacks: banana with two tbsp peanut butter and a cup of grapes) and then did some other food prep. I was a tad more tired than I’d been the previous day, but, duh, I’d run and gotten up earlier.

I broke down and had coffee today, but it’s decaf so it’s not as super caffeinated. I’m still trying to get back to my normal routine after traveling for almost two weeks. Slowly but surely.

(The above photo is apropos of nothing. It’s from my first night in Oslo. Norway has the best sunsets ever.)

Get it together.

I found out at my yearly physical recently that I’ve gained somewhere in the league of 5 pounds this winter. I’d eaten a big burrito that day so that might be a pound or two. Five pounds is not something to get dramatic over. I once lost 40, so 5 is nothing. I’m trying not to be dramatic about it, really. I’m still trying to think of things I can do to shed those 5 pounds and be healthier. 

Stop the morning snacking. I typically have a snack between breakfast and lunch. It comes somewhere between 11 and 12. I generally eat lunch between 12-12:30. To snack is stupid. From now on I’ll drink more tea or water.

Run in the mornings. I get up an hour earlier now so I’m going to run for 20 minutes in the morning if. it. kills. me. Which it won’t, of course. But just the idea of changing clothes, stretching, and putting on socks and sneakers makes me tired. But whatever, I’ll do it. I’ll run at a super slow pace (12 minute miles, or maybe a bit faster). It won’t be so bad. (I did this this morning, FTW!)

Stop eating crap. I’ve stopped eating a lot of gluten and I rarely eat cheese by itself anymore (meaning I don’t pack it onto salads or pastas anymore). I’ve been super busy lately. I’ve been making my lunch and bringing it to work with me (usually chicken, rice, & spinach) but sometimes I just need something quick and/or cheap for dinner before and event or something and I just go with pizza. No more pizza or quick junk. 

I think I need to just be more active. That’s mostly what helped me lose the originally 40, so these 5 should be easy.  Any suggestions? For accountability, here’s a photo of me after a run last week after the cut. It’s really not an attractive photo at all. I wasn’t posing so, yeah, I look… fun 😉