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

Last Week’s Workouts

I was going to start a completely separate blog to write about this stuff, but I decided against it because I don’t want to have 7 million blogs on the internet. So, click the “read more” link to hold me accountable and see how I did.

My plan was:

Monday: Ashtanga/Iyengar Yoga
Tuesday: Running + sit ups
Wednesday: Running + sit ups + Ashtanga/Iyengar yoga
Thursday: Running + sit ups
Friday: Rest?
Saturday: Vinyasa
Sunday: Rest or Run?

It turned out like this:

Monday: Ashtanga/Iyengar Yoga (75 minutes)
Tuesday: Running (22 minutes) + abs + hand weights
Wednesday: Running (20 minutes)
Thursday: Pilates (60 minutes) + abs
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Vinyasa (95 minutes)
Sunday: Running (20 minutes or 2 miles) – this killed because we started with running up a hill. 

I’ve been doing pretty good with eating. I’m really trying to limit my snack and eat as many vegetables as possible. I realized that eating chopped veggies and guac instead of tortilla chips leaves me feeling a lot better. Duh. 

How were your workouts last week?

Working out too much or just the wrong way?

I’ve been thinking lately that there’s a possibility that I’ve been working out too much. Or working out the wrong way. When I lost a whole bunch of weight from 2011-2012, I was mainly doing yoga and running (a mile here, a mile there). 

Now I’ve added the elliptical and weights. Then I did shit ton of sit ups for a while. My torso looked great.

With primarily yoga (half vinyasa, half ashtanga/iyengar), very minimal hand weights, and the elliptical, I’m not sure I’m such a fan of how I’m looking, or rather, how I’m feeling.

I decided to run on the treadmill on Friday night instead of doing the elliptical because I wanted to run and it was too hot to run outside. I ran for about 24 minutes; a little over 2 miles. I felt great afterward. Running on the treadmill is the worst but I watched a very old episode of SVU, so I was kept entertained. On Saturday morning I went to my hardest vinyasa class and lost half my body weight in sweat. It was awesome.

Which brings me now to the topic of yoga: I used to do primarily vinyasa classes, which I only do once a week now. I could do them more but they seem so boring (save for my Saturday morning class with one of my favorite teachers). I’m rediscovering my love for ashtanga and iyengar, and not just going for updog as fast as possible, and as many times as possible.

And lastly, I’ve read about working out too much and how important rest days are. As far as I’ve been concerned, at least in the past, rest days are for the weak. But maybe now I’m coming to terms with the cold hard fact that they aren’t. I need a rest day, or two. I’m thinking this could be my potential schedule:

Monday: Ashtanga/Iyengar Yoga
Tuesday: Running + sit ups
Wednesday: Running + sit ups + Ashtanga/Iyengar yoga
Thursday: Running + sit ups
Friday: Rest?
Saturday: Vinyasa 
Sunday: Rest or Run?

I’ll try it out this week and see how it works. 

I’m Kicking My Own Ass.

Does anyone remember what movie this is from? It’s from Liar, Liar. Such a funny movie that I watched a LOT of times growing up. I wonder if it’d stand up against my memories if I watched it now. Anyways, I digress. 

That’s how I feel whenever I go to my advanced-intermediate (Russian) vinyasa class on Monday (and sometimes Wednesday) nights. I call it Russian vinyasa simply because the teacher is Russian. She is one the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen and so, so strong.

Between my upheaval at work in November and the stress and business of the holidays, I started skipping this class in favor of less strenuous ones. As a result, I think I lost strength in some of my yoga poses. Now that I’m eating vegetables in place of a lot of carbs, I’m feeling better and like I want to get back to kicking my own ass at least once, preferably twice, per week. 

I need to add strength training into my regime as well. I do all this cardio with limited strength training. 30 chaturangas per class only does so much. 

I’m happy to be kicking my own ass again. 

And it’s beginning to snow.

After an unsuccessful trip to the Pace University bookstore in the Financial District (they close at 4pm, wtf), I grabbed a drink some fried zucchini sticks at SoHo Park with an old co-worker (but first I raided the book closet and took those four books). It was so, so good to see her – as well as some of my other former colleagues that I ran into. She’s trying her damnedest to get out of the city ASAP and even though I’ll miss her like whoa, I know she’d be happier back in New England.

On Saturday morning, I went to my usual grueling vinyasa class and I’d like to say that my workout attire was called The Kim Davis, as it included as many clashing patterns and colors as possible. But damn was I warm. The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping, going back down to FiDi to purchase my sweatshirt, and cooking cauliflower fried rice for my dude and me. We watched the movie Unfriended on HBOGo and it was BAD. Don’t do it. Bad acting, bad direction, bad photography direction, bad story, just bad.

I met up for a pre-birthday (his!) brunch with Ben on Sunday afternoon at The Hamilton and we ended up being invited to try a bunch of dishes because they were being photographed. The owner, Mike, was bartending and he is Scottish and insanely cool. He also owns Caldeonia Bar on the UES. The Hamilton will become a regular neighborhood spot of mine for sure. It snowed unexpectedly on Sunday night and after some quality gym time, my dude convinced me (it didn’t take a lot of convincing, honestly) to watch some football at Amity Hall (Uptown) – also a really solid new neighborhood spot.

I tortured both him and myself by watching the Democractic debates – and I figured out how to use my HDMI converter cable which I finally purchased – on Sunday night. I know pretty much everything they already said. I’m 100% over politics. #feelthebern

More snow this weekend! So stoked.

An Upper West Side Weekend

I spent all weekend in my ‘hood. I really like my ‘hood and I wasn’t seeing a show, so I didn’t have a real reason to leave. Additionally: this weekend was for being lazy. On Friday night I watched Gone Girl (for the millionth time) and colored a page in my “art therapy” coloring book. I basically just vegged. It was the nicest. After pouring myself into bed before 11pm, I woke up at the crack of 8am to head to my 9am yoga class. It’s an advanced class and is always hard but this was by far the hardest class my teacher has ever taught. I was dying and I also set a record for the most calories ever burn in one 90-minute yoga class (478 calories to be exact).

I spent the next couple of hours relaxing (and eventually showering) before Justin came over and we went to get coffee at the Hungarian Pastry Shop (somehow I was still exhausted) and he suggested watching John Adams. (Meh. It’s good, but sort of slow.) We headed out into a rather mild winter evening to The Ellington on 106th and Amsterdam for dinner with my folks. I like brunch at The Ellington better than dinner, but it was good anyways. After saying goodbye, we ended the night at new Amity Hall on 109th and Amsterdam (the location used to be another Pourhouse) to watch some football and have a drink. I fell asleep to another episode of John Adams later in the evening.

It poured all day on Sunday. In the brief break we got in between downpours, I ran out to Absolute Bagel to pick up the freshest bagels ever and we made coffee and started to wake up. Multiple cups of coffee later, we made ourselves semi-presentable and took a long walk to Petco to look at adoptable cats. There was a really sweet one named Grace that seemed really calm. Shortly after, we tried another new bar near my apartment, The Hamilton, which used to be ‘The ‘Dam,’ until it closed suddenly and without notice. The bartender was Scottish with a heavy accent and he was really friendly. They’re still trying to find their way into the neighborhood but with their prices and selection of craft beer, I have no doubt they will. Both of our meals were delicious and our bill came out to $29.

After we finished eating, we took out the chess board that we’d ordered (him, rather – it was really him) and played. I’d never played Chess before and I had a lot of trouble remember which pieces could move which directions and how. I felt like a dope, but he showed me how to beat him and I tried not to let my ego get too down on itself.

Back at my apartment, I worked on something for work in my bedroom while more John Adams was watched in the living room. That show, while interesting, bored me to tears. While perusing Netflix after, we found the documentary “The Nightmare,” about 8 people who suffer from sleep paralysis. It freaked me out, for sure, while my dude just laughed.

It was a good Upper West Side weekend. New places, new experiences, and I definitely remembered to enjoy the day.

Sunday in the Heights (of Morningside)

After a great Friday night at Salvation Taco and an extremely relaxing and reenergizing Saturday, I spent Sunday morning watching a few episodes of The Leftovers (apparently it gets better after the first couple of episodes that I’d watched, says everyone). After I headed over to Columbia University’s campus where the weekly farmer’s market was – almost bought some of those Pink-a-Boos, but instead went with some apples, string beans, and sweet potatoes, and that little pumpkin (does anyone know how you keep a pumpkin fresh?). 

I looked for the For Dummies guide in Book Culture that I’d sold to them last year but they didn’t have it unfortunately. But incase you’re looking for a number of books on Marxism, they have those in spades.

Last on my walk around my neighborhood was the Petco on Columbus Avenue. The beautiful animal above is 2 years old and named Felicia. I didn’t want to adopt a long-haired but she was so sweet and mellow and apparently if you brush them often enough, they don’t shed. So I submitted an application to adopt her. We will see what happens.

I ended the day with a vinyasa and meditation class and a few more episodes of The Leftovers

Not a bad day at all. 

How My Mind Works

I’ve been conditioned to always expect the worst. I hate that. I’m slowly trying to reverse it. But this is how my mind worked when I realized, at the beginning of my vinyasa class tonight that I left a stick of incense burning in my apartment:

I may have left incense burning my apartment. OMG I SHOULD’VE CHECKED BEFORE I LEFT. But I looked at it a little while before I left and it didn’t really seemed to still be burning… EVEN STILL: MY APARTMENT MIGHT BE BURNING DOWN. I SHOULD GO CALL MY DOORMAN AND ASK HIM TO CHECK ON IT.

But I did not. I didn’t leave class. I told myself I was overreacting. 

And you know what? I was. My apartment is still intact. (Incase you had any doubt.)

The Best Way To Spend a Rainy Saturday

That is by going to 9:15am yoga class, having your ass kicked, and then going to see Birdman, where the above speech by Emma Stone knocks the wind out of you, and then possibly movie-hopping into another theatre to see Mockingjay: Part 1 again.

Allison 1, Rain 0

Pilates: I tried.

My options for yoga classes tonight were a very, extremely hard vinyasa flow class (with one of the best teachers ever though) and an advanced beginners iyengar class. Or an advanced pilates class.

I took pilates as class during the spring semester of my freshmen year of college. I was out of shape and it was hard. I continued doing it through the summer and then just kind of stopped. After doing yoga for three or four years, part of me thought pilates might be easy. But part of me also thought I might not be able to hack it.

I didn’t even break a sweat. I’m pretty sure I burned more calories on the 5 block walk to the subway afterward. I’m glad I tried pilates again, but I’ll stick with my killer vinyasa classes from now on.