Friday, January 30, 2009

Superbowl Foods

Ok. For those of you looking for healthier alternatives to your typical Superbowl foods, DO NOT MAKE THIS!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Lord I think I gained 20 pounds just LOOKING at it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What is a "Diet"?

I had a short conversation with my roommate Monday night. She asked me if I wanted a bag of her chips because she's on a diet. I said sure, why not. I ate the chips, I didn't feel guilty. (I also worked out twice on Monday - swim in the morning and run at night, but regardless). But it got me thinking.

I don't consider what I'm doing to be dieting. I'm not physically depriving myself of anything. I know that if I want some chips, or a slice of pizza, or god forbid some ice cream, I will let myself have it. What I am doing, however, is consciously making healthier choices. Because I KNOW I can have that pizza for lunch, I have less desire to actually have it. I get a salad instead. The temptation to "cheat" is practically non-existent because I wouldn't be cheating.

So what is a diet, exactly? In my mind, it's self-imposed restrictions on what you can eat. And those restrictions MAKE you want those restricted or forbidden items even more.

I'm not on a diet. Every time I've been on a diet I have failed miserably, and most of the time ended up gaining weight anyway. So what am I doing? I am making conscious, healthy decisions at every meal. I'm not planning my meals out. I'm eating when I'm hungry, but I'm MAKING BETTER DECISIONS. Not because I want to lose weight, but because I need to give my body the proper, natural, organic foods it needs to keep fueled for my training.

For example. Instead of buying a huge, horrible, but delicious muffin from the guy on the street, I bring fruit. Or I buy a fruit salad. And then mid-morning, when I'm getting hungry again, I have organic flax seed oatmeal with almonds, granola, and agave nectar with a cup of black tea instead of going down to Starbucks for a latte and a cookie. For lunch, instead of pizza or fast food, I get a salad.

I am not depriving myself of anything. If I want a beer, I'll have a beer. I'll have my latte on the weekend, as a treat. Because then I appreciate it more.

When I get into 2 or 3 hours of working out a day, during the intense parts of my training, that oatmeal I listed above is going to fuel me a lot better than a slice of pizza or a cookie. And maybe thats why so many diets fail. So many people focus on the deprivation aspect of the diet that they're not seeing the big picture. It's NOT about depriving yourself - it's about making the better, healthier choice, one meal at a time.

And on that note, I didn't make it to the gym yesterday. At 430, when I was getting ready to head home (I get in around 730, so I leave around 430), my boss told me to stay because we were having a meeting sometime after 5. No problem - I figured I'd just get to the gym around 7 or so, and actually take the late Tuesday spin class. Turns out the meeting is me, him, and the two attorneys hashing out the future of the firm in the bar in the basement. Two hours and three beers later I'm heading home. It was 9 by the time I got back to my apartment. Chugged some water and went to bed.

Today is my scheduled rest day, and I've actually got a deep tissue/sports massage scheduled for tonight with someone that works with my tri club. I think the massage is going to be a once a month thing, used during my recovery week. My training schedule calls for three weeks of intense building workouts, followed by one recovery workout. My plan is to do a race at the end of each of the three building weeks, then have a good recovery week with a deep tissue massage to help get everything recovered properly. Tomorrow and Friday I'll do my morning swim and evening cycle/run.

And here are my stats from Mondays run:

Time: 43 min, 38 secs
HR Limits: 92/73
Time in Zone: 24 min 15 secs
Time Below Zone: 18 min 17 sec
Time Aboze Zone: 1 min 6 sec
Cal/Fat%: 417/35

I did an interval/recovery workout - bringing my heartrate to 87-90% of my max, staying there for a few minutes, then tracking to see how long it took me to recover to between 60 and 65%. Every time, it took an even two minutes to recover, so I'm happy with that.

What problems have you faced with dieting? Have you noticed that whenever you 'diet', you fail'? Or have diets worked for you?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Morning Workout

Today started what I hope will become my new routine:

I made it to the pool before work! I got in a solid half-mile workout (1/8 mile warmup, alternating freestyle sprints and breast stroke recovery, 1/8 mile cooldown) in 20 minutes. CRAZY! Granted, my rest periods aren't counted in that 20 minutes (I stopped my watch any time I wasn't swimming - it gives me a better view of how much I actually worked). But still, I was only in the pool for about 25 or 30 minutes, so I'm pretty happy with it.

I ended up getting to the office at 710, which is a solid 35 minutes earlier than usual, so my perception of time is really wonky right now. I feel like it should be around 10, not 830 because I've been awake for so long. But when my pool workouts start becoming more structured and long I'll be getting it at the normal time.

Saturday I spent snowboarding all day with a group of girls that were a LOT better than I was. We spent the entire morning on black diamonds, and I really challenged and pushed myself and feel like I really, really improved. I'm happy :-) My abs were actually sore on Sunday, much more so than my legs. I guess when you're pulling tight turns on very steep terrain you engage your core much more.

Whats one of the ways you get a new routine to stick? I really need to keep this morning workout routine going, but I know that later in the week, when I'm really tired, it's going to be hard to get out of bed that hour and a half earlier. Today I guilted myself ("You know you're going to regret not going. You're awake. Get out of bed, go to the gym, and just go to sleep an hour early tonight. Lazy."). Any suggestions, aside from willpower? Because sometimes willpower just isn't enough.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I was a good kid yesterday and skipped the bar in favor of the gym. Now that I think about it and compare potential calorie consumption v. calories burned, I'm really, really, really happy I went to the gym.

At the bar I would have consumed probably 2 or 3 beers, which is about par for me when just hanging out. I'm a huge fan of heavy germanic beers, and probably would have had Blue Moon draft. There are 171 calories in a 12 oz. serving of Blue Moon, and considering they are sold in 16 oz. pint glasses, there are 213.75 calories in a pint of Blue Moon.

3 Blue Moons x 213.75 calories each = 641.25 calories consumed.

I use a Polar heart rate monitor when I do cardio, and as usual had it on last night during my spin class. The following are the stats from the gym last night:

Duration: 48 min, 6 sec.
Heart Rate Limits (lower and upper 25%): 73/95
Time Spent in HR Zone: 38 min, 23 sec
Calories/Fat % Burned: 515/30%

WOW. I've never really looked at it like that before, basing it on calories and whatnot. But...Holy crap. I can't even begin to express to you how happy I am that I went to the gym instead. I essentially saved 1,156.75 calories by deciding NOT to consume the beer and taking a spin class instead. Thats almost a full days worth of food.

Tonight I need to cook. Everyone brings food for the bus ride home from the mountain tomorrow, and I really want to make something healthy, but good enough that it will be satisfying after a long day of snowboarding. Does anyone have any suggestions? It needs to be portable, able to sit on a bus for 10+ hours without going bad, and easy to make (cause I'm really, really bad in the kitchen). Maybe some sort of healthy cookie or brownie or some such dessert?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Gym Dilemma

So here's my problem. On Saturday I'm going the first ever women's only Ski Bums trip, and tonight there's a Happy Hour meet-and-greet kind of thing so we can all get to know each other before we go (since 99% of us have never met each other before).

Yesterday I took a rest day because it was scheduled. Sunday I worked out, even though it was a rest day. Do I take Sundays rest day and use it today so that I can go to this happy hour, or skip it so I can get a workout in? I can't do both - the bar is in Greenwich Village, and I live in Brooklyn, so it will take me about an hour to get home and it doesn't start till 7. It makes no sense to leave work at 4, travel the 40 minutes home, workout, shower, travel an hour back into the city, hang out for an hour, then travel an hour back home. It's definitely one of those either-or situations.

I'm leaning towards skipping the happy hour and going to the gym, partially because I hate being out so late, and also because I'm feeling kind of lazy after not working out yesterday. On the other hand, it really wouldn't mess up my schedule too much because I DID work out on a scheduled rest day.

Other news:

I start my official 20-week Half-Ironman training plan on February 2, Groundhog Day, Mom's birthday. It's going to be a killer. I'll keep all of you completely up-to-date on my exact workouts once I get into them...Until then, suffice it to say that I am not going to have time to breath! I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rest Day

Today is one of my two scheduled rest days (the other being Sunday). I've worked out for three days in a row now - I went to the gym on Sunday, even though it's technically a rest day, because I hadn't gone in over a week. I'm actually looking forward to resting today. I'm quite sore, and very tired. And besides...

LOST IS BACK ON TONIGHT! I mean, really. LOST is so much more important than the gym, especially because we're going to a LOST party, and watching the season finale from last year. I'm quite excited, actually.

I've been cooking the past two nights...if you define cooking as combining various Trader Joe's frozen entrees. The other night I did rice pilaf with chicken skewers, and last night I did a stir-fry vegetable with more chicken skewers. I had to add my own seasoning to the stir-fry, so I went with soy sauce and some crushed red pepper. It ended up looking like this:

I was very proud of myself, to say the least. However.

Crushed red pepper is, apparently, EXTREMELY HOT. And because I can't deal with hot very well, I ended up having to trash more than half the vegetables. But at least I know better for next time!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

HYC Check In: Week 3

I don't weigh myself. I find that it gives me a very skewed outlook on myself. While I may currently weigh about 170, I also have massive amounts of muscle that really mess up the numbers on the scale. My calves are really cows, measuring in at more than 12 inches around of solid muscle. My quads are thunder thigh holy muscle mania. My biceps have also been growing lately - I attribute it to the swimming, and actually using my arms as I run.

I also have an extremely masculine frame, which causes me to get mistaken for a guy at least three times a day. Broad shoulders, bulky frame, shorts legs and long torso. SMALL BOOBS. NONEXISTENT BOOBS. Which I actually like. At best, when I'm wearing a fitted polo, it looks like I'm just a guy with massive pecs. Most days I don't even wear a bra, and an under shirt or Under Armour Compression tshirt is more than enough to keep them under control.

So I don't weigh myself. Using the typical weight scales for women, I should weigh anywhere between 125 and 140 pounds. HA! I think I weigh 125 in my right leg. Right now, a good and healthy weight for me would be around 155, which is 5 pounds more than I was when I left the Army. But I'm not going to weigh myself every day or every week.

No. I am going to weigh myself every month. And take measurements every two weeks. To track what means the most to me - losing inches, not weight - measurements are far more important. If I weight 160, but can wear pants with a 31-inch waist (down from the 34 I wear now), I'll be ecstatic. If I can see lines in my quads and cows and biceps and triceps, and weigh 163, I'll be the happiest kid on the planet.

I am an athlete, a powerhouse of muscle that will never weight 125 pounds, regardless of diet or exercise. Not that I would want to - I'm proud of my muscle. I like my solid, boxy, intimidating, muscular, broad, masculine frame.

It's taken a while for me to get there, to appreciate my body for what it is and how it was made.
I used to use my weight as an excuse: "No, I'm not fat, I'm just really muscular/broad/big-boned/athletic". And I was all of those things. I was also overweight. Not obese by any standards, but definitely overweight. Not unhealthily overweight, but overweight nonetheless. I trained for and ran a marathon weighing 175, with a resting heartrate of 50 bpm and excellent blood pressure, cholesteral, you name it. But I was still overweight. I'm still carrying around excess fat in my mid-section (DAMN TUMMY FAT!).

But now I'm realizing that I can maintain that boxy, powerful, muscular frame, and I don't need the fat to go with it. Losing that fat will actually make me even more boxy, powerful, and muscular.

Want to hear my biggest goal? The goal I set for myself every year, without fail, and without fail, fail to meet it? Here it is. I'm putting it out there, into the blogosphere, so that you can help me keep on going, making sure that I don't fall off the horse, and hopefully this will be the year I actually achieve it.

So here it is. The goal that I've set for myself for the past five years, and failed to meet every. single. year.

I want to go to the beach, and instead of hiding behind board shorts and a tank top, I want to rock the board shorts/bikini top. Or sports bra. Or something that exposes my stomach. I want to not be ashamed of my muffin top, of my rolls. I want to be that sporty little lesbian or surfer girl you see on the beach with the toned and tan body, loose board shorts and bikini top. You all know which one I'm talking about.

I'm aiming to have this done by June 13. Thats my half-ironman. If I can do it by then, I will do the run portion of the race in a sports bra and shorts.

So what do you think? Can I do it?

Monday, January 19, 2009


I just began reading Skinny Bitch, which I've heard is absolutely amazing. I got through the first 3 or 4 chapters on the subway today, just enough to be scared shitless of aspartame, soda, diet soda, splenda, and a host of other things. So I figured, instead of my normal Dr. Pepper with lunch (I LUUUUUURVE me some Dr. Pepper. I will give my firstborn. And second born. And third born (none of which are real sacrifices, seeing as I plan to never deliver a child)) I would get a Diet Snapple. It is, of course, made from the best stuff on earth. I figured I can't go wrong.

Halfway through my salad of romaine-egg whites-kidney beans-tomatoes-fresh mozzarella-chick peas-croutons-and balsamic vinegar, I look at the ingredients of the Diet Snapple.


Aaaaah! Formaldehyde!

Excellent. I tried to make a better decision than sugar-laden Dr. Pepper heavenly goodness, and I'm ingesting aspertame. Dammit.

On the plus side, I've already consumed 40 ounces of water, plus two cups of tea. So maybe I can wash it all out.

A Case of the Mondays

And not just a case of the regular Mondays, but a case of the 'everyone has the day off from work except me I hate my job' Mondays.

I made it to the gym yesterday and got 3 miles done - first time working out since the accident, and I felt fantastic!! I actually wasn't tired at all when I was done, and probably could have gone longer but I needed to get into the office to put in a few hours on a PowerPoint I'm working on. Tonight will be a spin/short run night.

I'm going to stop at Trader Joe's on my way home from work tonight. It's kind of a hassle to get to from work, but thats ok. I need to stock up on more chicken, salad, breakfast things, snacky things, fruits, etc etc etc. That chicken and salad I made a few weeks ago was absolutely delicious and lasted me half a week. So thats the plan for tonight - Trader Joe's on the way home, gym around 6, then cooking up some dinner afterwards.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Getting back to normal

Thank you to everyone who sent me well wishes after my last post. I finally feel like I'm getting back to normal (read: I can turn my head all the way to the right without my neck/back seizing up, and I'm sleeping), so I think I'm going to try to hit the gym tonight.

On Saturday, while Mel and I were snowboarding and before the accident, we were talking about how we are actually starting to not feel young anymore. We're both 24, so we are definitely still YOUNG, but we were noticing how we don't bounce back from things as quickly as we used to; how two drinks can now lead to a hangover; how slight twinges and aches and pains aren't as easily ignored. We both realized that hey, we are getting older and we need to start taking care of ourselves.

And then we got into the accident. And when we woke up the next day, we were nowhere near as sore and stiff and pained as we thought we would be. We looked at each other, laughed, and realized that maybe our bodies are still young, we're still supple, we're still able to bounce back and recover and be OK.

That won't last long, though. As it stands I have early onset arthritis in my fingers and toes, I have no cartilage left in my right knee, a souvenier from my hectic field hockey glory. I need to start taking care of myself now, before those things get worse. I need to treat my body with respect and stop pouring alcohol into it three or four nights a week and poisoning it with crappy, fatty take-out.

Tonight I'm back at the gym. I'll probably skip the spin class and lifting, and just run to see how I can handle it. But I'm going back. And then maybe I'll hit the pool tomorrow morning before work.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Is it 2010 yet?

2009 could not have gotten off on a worse start if it had tried. Over New Years, my cat was in the ER because of a completely blocked urinary tract. After he got home he had a reaction to the meds that he was on that resulted in two MORE trips to the ER. I got two parking tickets within a week of each other. My father lost his job. And then, the icing on the cake...

The other night, I wrecked my car. We were coming home from snowboarding, and I spun out on a patch of ice or slush or something on the NYS Thruway. I spun and spun and spun, finally controlled the car, came to a complete stop, and then was hit by a Nissan Pathfinder. No one was hurt - we spent about 5 hours in the hospital getting checked over, and after some xray's and CT scans we were discharged. We spent the night in a hotel upstate, and then got back to Brooklyn yesterday afternoon.

I am so sore, and so tired, and so...I don't even know. I keep going over it in my head, trying to figure out what I could have done differently, and why I didn't try to get the car off the highway after we stopped and once I noticed the Pathfinder closing in on us. I know that while it seemed an eternity to us, it really only happened in about 5 or 6 seconds, and the fact that I was able to control our spin and keep up on the road was really, really good. But I should have been able to maintain control and get us off the road before the Pathfinder hit us. I haven't slept well since it happened...Last night I had a couple beers and took an anti-anxiety drug that my doctor prescribed me for flying, and it basically put me into a drug-induced coma, but I don't feel like I slept.

Needless to say, I think I fell off the wagon a little bit yesterday. I ordered a small white pizza, and while I didn't eat the whole thing, I ate 3 slices. BUt that was also all that I ate all day. So maybe it wasn't that bad. I don't think I'm going to work out today because I'm so sore and tired. I think I'm still in shock. While we were in the hospital I couldn't stop shaking - it was basically full-body convulsions - and I was freezing and couldn't stop crying.

We could have been killed. We could have been seriously hurt. I could have killed someone. If he had hit my car in any other spot - engine, gas tank, etc - my car could have blown up. Luckily he hit the back on the side that the muffler was on. But still...I am still completely shaken.

My friends aren't mad at me - they say that it was a complete accident, that no one is at fault, that I need to stop apologizing because I did everything that I could have to stop our spinning, and that it was just unfortunate that we also got hit. Because if we hadn't gotten hit, everything would have been ok. I controlled the car, kept us on the road, didn't flip us over or land us in a ditch...

I'm just still really, really, really shaken up. And I probably will be for a while.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pizza Monster

Oh my god I really want a slice of pizza. I just had a meeting with my boss and another attorney I work for, and the audit that I'm doing is apparently all effed up. So now I'm irritated, angry, upset that I have to come in on Sunday, and a host of other negative emotions.

And all I want is a slice of greasy, cheesy, hot goodness. But I won't. I brought my lunch with me, and I will eat it. I won't get a soda, either. I'll drink my Propel. But g*ddamn I really want that slice.

Climbing Rocks

As in, climbing the rocks, and climbing is lots of fun. I love double entendres :-) I didn't go to the gym last night, but thats because my climbing buddy and I went to the climbing gym in New Rochelle for two hours. This was only the second time I've been back climbing since my hiatus began about a year and a half ago, and it felt absolutely amazing.

Two weeks ago when we went I was really cautious on the walls. I could feel that my strength was lacking, and my movements were really stiff. I had completely forgotten on to move on the walls, how to balance my weight and move my feet so that I could reach and not completely kill my upper body after three routes. But this week was amazing. I started on a route that really challenged me last time, and I couldn't get over. There is a little horizontal ledge, like an overhang, that you need to pull yourself up and over to continue up the wall, and no matter how hard I tried last time I couldn't get over it.

This time, I was up and over it no problem! I actually did two of them with mild overhangs, the second being a bit more challenging than the first, and even though I struggled I made it! I was really proud of myself. I ended with a very difficult route for my ability level, and even though it took me about 15 minutes to figure it out and get up there, and even though I fell off the wall several times before I was able to actually complete the move that was frazzling me, I did it. Perseverance and persistence, damn right!

I wish I could put that concentration and dedication into my weight loss, though. I've been very good this week - running on Tuesday, swimming on Wednesday, rock climbing last night, running or cycling tonight, snowboarding tomorrow, and then rest on Sunday. Thats five days of activity, and I'm happy with that. My food consumption has been going well, too. Monday I grilled some chicken and made a huge salad that lasted me three meals - two dinners and once lunch. I haven't done take-out or pizza or eaten out all week. I've been eating 3 meals a day and drinking water like it's my job. No soda this week, either. Wow, thats a first. Amazing!

So I think I'll call this week a success. I'm pretty happy with how I've been keeping with my resolutions.

2009 is off to a promising start!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


So I made it to the pool last night, finally. After searching for the entrance to the pool for about 20 minutes I finally found it and made my way down. Apparently you need a swim cap to use the pool, which I didn't know about, and got yelled at by the lifeguards. I got my hands on one, and swam for about 30 minutes. I did a 7 minute slow warmup, 12 lengths alternating freestyle sprints and breaststroke, and then a long (prolly about 1/4 mile) cool-down. It kicked my ass - I was exhausted by the end of it. But it was nice - I was home and cooking dinner by 530, instead of just getting home and heading out to the gym.

What I did realize, though, was that I need a really good transition bag. Something that can hold my work clothes away from my pool stuff away from my running/cycling stuff. I'll have to talk to the Tri group on Livejournal to get some recommendations.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Workout Schmerkout

Getting to the pool in the morning has been an EPIC FAIL on my part. Monday was a washout when it came to working out. I went to the Dodge Y with the intent on getting a membership (thats the gym with a pool. I now belong to two gyms). It took over an hour. I had intended on running when I was there, but the place was so crowded and so humid and so disgusting, and I developed a wicked bad headache/tummyache when I was there...So I called it a night after I got my membership card and went home.

Yesterday was better. I didn't swim in the morning, but I brought my pool stuff with my to work so I could go on my way home. I got there, and there were swim lessons and no lanes available for lap swimming. So I went to Trader Joe's, did some food shopping, went home and changed into my running clothes and went to my running gym. I got 2.5 miles done. Then I went home, cooked up some chicken and made a huge salad. It was DELICIOUS! I used some Lemon-Ginger marinade on the chicken. Delectable.

Failed on the pool again this morning - there's just something about 5Am that my body does not like. But I've got my suit and goggles with me, and as long as there are lanes available I will be there. If not, I'll just run or take a spin class or something tonight.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to go rock climbing, and I'm snowboarding on Saturday for the first time all season. I can't wait! If it's nice on Sunday I'll take my bike out for an hour or so too.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

HYC Check In: Week 1

It's a new year, a new start, a new beginning (which makes sense. You can't very well have an old beginning, can you? The word 'beginning' implies newness. Welcome to the Department of Redundancy Department, kthxbye). This is the year that I will work, that I will kick my ass, that I will FINALLY be happy in this body of mine.

Resolutions for 2009:

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
2. Stop eating out/getting take out/eating leftovers of said eating out and take out. When you live in Brooklyn and have all sorts of deliverable food available to you basically 24/7 it's very easy to just not cook.
3. Work out at least four days a week, including morning swim workouts before work. This means being at the pool no later than 5:45AM, but if I'm going to survive this half-ironman I have no choice.
4. Ride my bike every Saturday.
5. GO BACK TO SCHOOL. Or at least get accepted to school for next Spring.
6. Finish the Patriot Half-Ironman in under 6 hours.
7. Eliminate my debt, and begin accumulating savings.