Body movin’, body movin’

A Beastie Boys inspired title to kick off Friday ;)!

AND it’s been a while since I last talked about how I’m moving.

For one, I’ve stopped running. If you’re just catching up, I ran for the last time on May 6 in the Waldwick 5K on a shin that I was pretty sure was fractured (NOT at all over-dramatic). It wasn’t, but the orthopedist told me to rest for two weeks. After two weeks…my shin still hurt. I decided to continue doing everything else at that point except running.

So where am I now? My shin no longer hurts. For a while it was feeling weird, where it didn’t hurt but I was aware of it. Does that make any sense? Anyway, it didn’t feel normal, but now it does.

I’m still not running. There are a couple reasons:

1. My trainer doesn’t think it’s a good idea. He’s told me over and over again that it won’t help me lose weight and it’s probably too hard on my body right now and I finally believe him. While I was running, weight loss felt like a HUGE struggle. It was hard for me to balance what I was eating with what I was burning…because I had no idea (anyone want to buy me a Garmin??). Also, I was WAY hungrier when I ran. Sticking to a calorie limit now feels (dare I say it??) almost easy. 

2. I started to feel like running was getting in the way of other things. If I had a long (for me) run on the weekend, I wouldn’t also want to hike that day with a friend. I felt like I needed a LOT of rest to recover from even 3-mile runs. I love running, but I don’t want to turn down other activities because I have to run.

Source: iobad.com via Jodi on Pinterest

 

BUT, let me say this. Actually being able to run and completing FOUR (!!!) 5Ks hands down feels like my biggest accomplishment in my entire life. I could not run a mile in high school. I didn’t care about running a mile after high school. The fact that I was able to follow a running program (COUCH TO 5K – DO IT), stick with it, and LOVE it? AMAZING. I want to run again. I will run again. Just not now.

Source: lovetopedal.com via Jodi on Pinterest

 

In place of running, I’m walking a LOT. Walking is my first love and the main exercise I’ve done to get me to where I am now weight-loss wise.

I’m also incorporating a few days at the gym where I use the elliptical (ugh) and strength train with dumbbells and my own body weight.

I finally feel like I’m back to some sort of normal exercise routine after being injured, taking a lot of time to rest and then getting sick.

I’ve even scheduled a session with my trainer for Saturday morning to make sure my weekend starts with a big, healthy push.

 

 How are you going to sweat this weekend??

 

 

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10K Training Go Time

I can’t believe I’m saying this.

I’m going to run a 10K. I don’t know when. But I will.

And training starts today.

After checking out a few different plans from Runner’s World and Cool Running, I decided to go with Hal Higdon’s 10K training plan for n00bs novice runners.

 

I really liked the simple layout and think it leaves a lot of room for customization. It also only has me running three times a week, which, considering the condition of my knees and shins, is probably a good thing. I also like that it incorporates two days of strength. That’s currently my weakest  (is there a pun here?) area and the one I want to most improve.

I felt so good on my 4-miler Saturday that I’m confident I can push myself even further. Believing you can do it is 75 percent of the battle and I’m pretty sure the other 25 percent is compression sleeves haha.

This is my "stop taking pictures and go run" face

I’m going to continue with intervals of 10 min. running/1 min. walking because it’s working really well for me right now, and Higdon’s plan encourages walk breaks.

I also already have two more 5K races planned for April 28 and May 6, but I think the schedule will work nicely with them.

I wholeheartedly believe that putting your goals out there is the first step to achieving them. So here it is. I’ll also leave you with this picture of delicious trail mix from Whole Foods that I devoured after Saturday’s run.

How’s that for a Monday? 🙂

 

 

 

 

Glen Rock Opt-In 5K Race Recap

I knew this race would be for me when I read the description “flat and fast” on Active.com.

All week I debated signing up, however, because my last few runs have been terrible. I’ve been having a tough time getting through just 2 miles from a combination of wind and allergies, so I was less than stoked to conquer 3.1.

Also, I had no one to run it with. Would a race alone be any fun?

Enter: Meetups!

A few months ago I joined a runners group on Meetup.com, not actually thinking I belonged in a runners group, but figuring it would give me the motivation to run faster so I could eventually be in a runners group. Wacky logic, I know.

Anyway, I got an e-mail the day before the race that the runners group had posted the Glen Rock 5k as an event and knew it was a sign that I should do it. I RSVP’d immediately, then registered.

Then I started hydrating. The day before I had gone out with some coworkers and drank a bit too much and was absolutely dehydrated (Charley Horses, UGH) so I hit up Trader Joes for some Zico Coconut Water, bananas and Lara Bars.

Saturday I woke up at 7 a.m. Breakfast was half a banana, a cashew cookie Lara Bar and a Coconut Water. Fantastic fuel.

Around 8 a.m. I headed over to the park where it started, which was only a few minutes from my apartment. I was a little shocked to see how few people were there and a little worried that it would mean I would be coming in last.

My nerves soon disappeared as I began chatting with Michelle from the runners group after we found each other by text message. Her longest distance was a marathon, and I told her the 5K distance still felt like a marathon to me! I was so grateful to have her there to distract me from the impending start.

The race kicked off with a playing of the Star Spangled Banner and then all 150 of us (hah!) were off!

The race course was an out and back, which I wasn’t too excited about, but it turned out to be a great thing. Around Mile 1 I saw the winner heading back in the other direction – he was FLYING!

It was a sunny day but cold and I was glad I had chosen to keep on my gloves and ear warmers.

It felt like it took forever to get to the turnaround, but once I passed it I was feeling good again. There were a few spectators along the route who were cheering, which I love.

I got a bit of a stomach cramp around Mile 2 so really concentrated on my breathing and the pain disappeared quickly.

At Mile 2.5 Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” came on my iPod and it was just what I needed to carry me to the end.

No heel striking here!

As the finish line came into site, I knew I could cross it in under 36 minutes – a new PR! I saw Michelle on the side cheering and started sprinting!

My official time was 35:31! More than a minute faster than my first race on Thanksgiving where my time was 36:38. Obviously the total time on RunKeeper is a little off because I started it early and stopped it after finishing, but you can see my splits below:

I’m super proud of those numbers! Every mile was under 12 minutes, which is not the norm for me.

This race definitely gave me confidence in running again. There is something about being surrounded by a bunch of other runners that is always so motivating!

After the race I headed straight to Starbucks for a giant iced coffee and then spent most of the day lying around watching Mad Men. A perfect Saturday 🙂

Hope you all had a good weekend, too!

Fantastic four and weigh-in

You guys…!

I finally broke through the 5K distance rut and ran FOUR MILES on Sunday!

I went into the run feeling good, motivated by a new music playlist, cool weather, fresh legs and my Zensah compression sleeves. I hadn’t planned on achieving a new PDR that day, but I was so happy that there was no pain in my shins that I decided to push it!

.

It was tough! I relied on intervals of 10 minutes running/1 minute walking to get me through. Overall the 4 miles took about 53 minutes (13 min/mi), which I know is slow for most people – but I’m proud!

But while my shins are okay….my calves are not! I’ve had a few really painful charley horses this week

I’m great at hydrating Monday-Friday…but then the weekend comes and I forget to drink water and subsist largely on coffee…and sometimes wine…

I was woken Sunday morning by muscle spasms in both my calves..and then  the spasms struck again when I took off my compression sleeves after the four mile run. Does anyone know why this is happening?

I was under the impression that muscle cramps come from being dehydrated…which I definitely was…but if you have another reason/idea that might help, tell me! I know that lack of potassium can also be a possible cause, but I used to get them all the time when I was eating a banana a day, so I’ve ruled that out.

I’ve been doing some extra stretches to relieve the pain, but my right calf is still tight.

In other news…I made mini frittatas this week and can’t get over how cute (and yummy!) they are. I (kind of) followed this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo. I left out the meat and just went with onions, broccoli and mushrooms for filling. I also paired down her recipe to make just 12.

Now….The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 172.5

This week: 172.5

Change: 0

Total loss: 70.5

Fat Acceptance: A Love Story

I had a huge moral dilemma when I first started this blog. I did not and still do not want to promote diet culture. I know I have written some things that have done that, and it truly feels like a betrayal to myself and of how I actually feel about losing weight.

I’m in a hard place because on one hand I am actively trying to lose weight, but I know the only reason I’ve lost any weight is because I’ve accepted being fat.

I know that doesn’t make much sense on its face, but stick with me for a bit, folks.

Fat Acceptance. If you don’t know what it is, start here.

I’ll wait.

The thing is, I’ve gotten a lot of compliments over the last couple of months about my weight loss, and while I know people are being nice, I’m slightly, ok really, uncomfortable with people seeing my weight loss as inspiration.

Why?

Because I believe you should love your body the way it is right now, and I don’t want anyone to think that my life is better just because I wear a smaller size. I’d much rather promote body acceptance than weight loss.

It’s because of Fat Acceptance that I’ve managed to be healthy at all. Through reading Fat Acceptance blogs every day  of others who were living full, wonderful existences as fat women, I realized I could too.

My life, the one I wanted and dreamed of, didn’t have to wait until I was skinny.

People diet, I assume, because they are unhappy with their bodies. But diets are absolutely not the answer to this problem. You know what might be? Not letting your fat body stand in the way of going to the gym for some endorphin-producing, stress-reducing exercise. I don’t know if going to the gym will help you lose weight, many studies say it won’t, but I do know that your mood will absolutely improve from getting your sweat on.

My self-esteem grew immensely when I stopped believing a diet could change my life and started living exactly how I wanted to live. Me. With my fat body. Right at that second and not after I had lost weight.

Or, from the New York Times:

The aim is to behave as if you have reached your “goal weight” and to act on ambitions postponed while trying to become thin, everything from buying new clothes to changing careers. Regular exercise should be for fun, not for slimming.

Living a life that embodies Fat Acceptance means that I do not pay attention to the things people assume about me for being fat.

And when I truly understood that, the years and years of not living because I was fat ended. And so did my struggle with my weight.

That’s the truth.

I feel like I live between two worlds right now. In one world, I want to lose more weight. In the other world, I know I’m living life exactly the way I want to and that my weight does not have an impact.

It’s an internal struggle and the whole reason I wanted to start a blog.

Right now, I can confidently say that I am healthy and fit. Would you know that by looking at me? Probably not. And these are the kind of societal evils that I have dealt with my whole life and that seep in to my brain and act as sabotage.

Fat Acceptance is about seeing fat as an adjective for your body, not your person. It’s also not an adjective that is synonymous with “bad.”

I can write and read that, but what I really need to do is be feeling it.

Because, truthfully, At 174.5 pounds, I sometimes feel worse about my body than at 243 pounds.

I’ve been wrapped up in the excitement of losing weight, but instead of making me happy, it’s left me feeling like I’m not good enough when I don’t lose weight and that’s a dangerous place that I really don’t want to be in.

I’m putting my struggle with this out there, because really I want to spread a message of Fat Acceptance, not weight loss. This is who I am, Jodi, fat or not.

Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. – Lao Tzu

Wednesday Weigh-in and Week 3 Paleo Update

Hello!

I really feel like I hit my paleo stride this week. The first week was a huge adjustment, I was definitely going through some carb/sugar detox and my head felt cloudy all the time. Last week involved a lot of thinking, planning and learning and this week following the paleo diet has been almost, well, natural!

Brussels sprouts, asparagus and onions seasoned, ready for roasting!

I want to reiterate that I am far from following a paleo diet strictly. When I began, I said my goal was to be consistent, and I’m very happy to report that I absolutely have been consistent. Striving for perfection, I feel, is just undue cause for stress and burnout and eventually failure. I’m loosely going by the 80/20 concept, where I’m following paleo 80 percent of the time and not 20 percent of the time. This week that 20 percent consisted of Tasti D-Lite, Indian food at Brick Lane Curry House and a slice of homemade apple pie from a local farm. It was amazing.

I’m still shocked by how long I stay full with paleo-inspired breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Last week I did a breakdown of breakfast, paleo vs. pre-paleo, this week, lunch!

Pre-paleo my lunch was typically a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, a half cup of chickpeas or a veggie burger and a homemade dressing of oil and vinegar. With the salad I would have 4-6 oz of fat free plain Greek yogurt and 1-2 pieces of fruit, something like an apple and orange or strawberries. For about 500 calories, this meal had 58 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat and 24 grams of protein. Since beginning paleo, I’ve had the same basic meal for lunch every day. A salad of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, 4 oz of chicken, avocado and/or almonds and dressing of oil and vinegar with no snacks on the side. This meal, a little lower in calories, around 450, has 23 grams of carbs, 28 grams of fat and 34 grams of protein.

Yes, it’s lower calorie, and less “things” to eat – but I’m so much fuller! Because avocado and almonds are high in fat and calories, I keep my portions on the small side, usually about 50 grams of avocado (maybe 1/4-1/2 an avocado, depending on its size) and about .5 oz of almonds.

Pre-paleo if I was hungry, I would also be very unfocused and find it hard to follow conversations or work or do anything that required effort. I needed to eat ASAP. It felt terrible and I felt like I was always complaining about being hungry. Pre-paleo, I could barely make it to lunch without wanting to chew off a finger or two and absolutely needed to snack between lunch and dinner. Most days I could barely even wait until 5 p.m. to eat dinner. It’s a totally different story now. From my 8 a.m. breakfast, I stay full right up until about noon for lunch, and if I’m hungry after work/before dinner, I will snack on some veggies and don’t feel like I’m in a rush against my hunger to make dinner.

Breakfast: Pumpkin coconut flour muffin, Fage Greek 2% plain yogurt and a dollop of sunflower seed butter

And like I’ve said many times now, I’m totally enjoying cooking more and trying out different recipes and flavor combinations. I’m really glad I’ve been tracking my food on MyFitnessPal this whole time, because I find it absolutely fascinating to see the break down of why and how my meals are different.

Sauteed zucchini and baby portobello mushrooms with chicken sausage

I’m not really missing any pre-paleo food, and if I want it, I eat it. Same rules as before. Restriction absolutely DOES NOT WORK for me.

This was another so-so week as far as exercise goes. I didn’t see my trainer at all – blaming the work schedule on that one – but I have gotten outside everyday to enjoy this unusually warm weather! My goal for joining the gym in the first place was not only to have somewhere to work out during the winter, but to develop a strength training routine. Ideally, I would like to go a few mornings a week to work on strength and walk outside during the afternoons. That would be a perfect workout plan for me – now I just have to make it happen!

The view at the start of one of my favorite running/walking paths

Anyway, enough babble, here are the numbers:

The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 176

This week: 174.5

Change: -1.5

Total loss: 68.5

Weigh-in Wednesday, a paleo update and more!

I feel like we have so much to talk about! Here are 10 things about my week:

1. I’ve been cooking up a storm! So many people say they don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning or don’t have energy to cook after work, but cooking is such a stress reliever for me I look forward to it. I’ve been extra diligent about keeping the kitchen clean as well. Nothing screams “cook!” more than a spotless kitchen stocked with healthy food.

2. I made turkey meatballs stuffed with tons of veggies to eat for dinner this week, inspired by this recipe from Paleo Plan. Meatballs are so easy to make and even easier to reheat for quick work-night dinners, I should really make them more often. I followed the recipe almost exactly, except substituted the green peppers (yuck) for grated zucchini (yum) and added one egg to the mixture. Turned out delicious!

3. For three days I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to put together a recipe for apple cinnamon coconut flour pancakes, but can’t get it exactly right. Either the pancakes come out too dry or they are too moist and take forever to cook and I can’t flip them! But don’t worry, I plan to keep trying…

4. I tried Ethiopian food for the first time on Sunday at Mesob in Montclair. HIGHLY recommend it. The food was delicious and cheap!

5. I made pumpkin coconut flour muffins following this recipe from Cindy’s Table. They came out amazing! I’m currently eating one with one plain Greek yogurt. Can’t wait to have another for breakfast! Also, when I was buying the cupcake tins, I kept thinking they looked so tiny! Working near a Crumbs, which NPR called out for its ridiculous cupcakes, has seriously distorted my portion sizes.

6. It’s supposed to be almost 70 degrees outside tomorrow! Who else is planning to leave work early and go frolic in a park??

7. The other day I was feeling really lazy and had to bribe myself to go run. I said, “Listen, Jodster (yes, I call myself Jodster when giving pep talks), just do two miles.” Later I was thinking, I can’t believe two miles sounds like an easy run for me! It seems like yesterday that I was dreading the 20-minute run in Couch to 5K.

8. Relating to that last point, my bff Tracey totally called me out on my recent sucky attitude toward my body. She reminded me to be conscious of my progress, even though in my head it feels like I haven’t made any lately. Since that talk, I’ve really tried to take her words to heart and recommit myself to being body positive and thankful. Before I started trying to lose weight, I didn’t expect much of my body. I didn’t ask it to run, demand anything of it physically or expect it to shed fat. I’m having a hard time not fighting my body through this process, which is affecting my confidence and self-esteem. I plan to write about these things way more in the future (since the emotional side of weight loss is the whole reason I started the blog) but it’s a tough subject to broach. I will do it, however, because I need to do it.

9. Have anyone else’s allergies been driving them nuts lately? My sinuses are making my whole face hurt and I felt like my throat was on the verge of closing all day and I couldn’t get enough air in. So annoying!

10. I owe you a paleo update. Since releasing myself from a restriction mindset on Monday, I’ve felt much better about all the changes to my diet. I stopped reading paleo blogs completely, except to look up recipes, and almost immediately the panic of “AM I DOING THIS RIGHT” subsided. I have to say, there truly are some benefits from increased protein and decreased sugar. My meals keep my hunger at bay for much, much, much longer than pre-paleo meals. For example, pre paleo my typical breakfast was a bowl of oatmeal and a banana. This had 54 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein for about 250 calories. The coconut pancakes I’ve been making are also about 250 calories, but have 32 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fat and 10 grams of protein. And tomorrow, the pumpkin coconut flour muffin with half a cup of 2% plain Greek yogurt and 1/2 a tablespoon of sunflower seed butter will be about 300 calories, 17 grams of carbs, 19 grams of fat and 19 grams of protein. I used to be starving by lunch time, but now my breakfast keeps me satisfied for much longer, and I can see why!

I wouldn’t say I have more energy on a paleo diet, but my energy is more consistent through the day. I used to get really tired from around 3-5 p.m. and haven’t experienced that lately. This could be all in my head, since I’ve read so much about the effects of going paleo, but it really feels like I don’t have dips or spikes in my energy levels anymore. I also noticed that when I do start to feel hungry, it’s not with the same level of urgency. I can realize that I’m hungry without an immediate need to eat.

That being said, I was pretty terrible at being consistent this week. Actually, that’s not totally true. I managed to make really great food choices the whole week, except for the amount of alcohol that I drank. I was hungover twice, did many sugary shots and consumed way too many mixed drinks. Not the healthiest choices. I also really slacked at going to the gym. Usually I have plenty of time to get up in the morning, make breakfast, go to the gym and shower before work but the last few weeks my job has been really stressful and I’ve been going in earlier and earlier. I know that’s not an excuse, and I’m pledging to make time for exercise no matter what this week – for the sake of my sanity more than anything else!

Wow that was a lot. Here are the numbers:

The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 174.5

This week: 176

Change: +1.5

Total loss: 67

One change at a time

When I look back at the beginning of my weight loss journey, I can truly see how *this* time was different.

You know how I know that? Because I didn’t start out saying “this time is going to be different.”

A big reason people fail when they try to lose weight is because they focus too much on a dream of a different life and believe that simply being skinny will give them that different life.

Then they lose a bunch of weight through unsustainable methods and when they realize their life is no different, they go back to food as comfort.

Or at least that was how it had worked for me.

Hundreds and hundreds of times I would wake up full of enthusiasm always to end up, an hour later, a day later, a week later or a month later, hiding in my room eating everything in the kitchen. And when that food was gone, I would buy more.

It sounds crazy to think that a whole lifetime of habits can change in one single instant, but how many of us hold on to that hope?

Think of any skill, such as playing the piano. No one would expect to sit down at a piano and know how to play, but that’s the mindset of so many people when they say they want to lose weight.

When you take on too much too quickly, you’re bound to end up overwhelmed and eventually discouraged.

When I first began losing weight, other people thought I was crazy because I didn’t exercise and I didn’t plan on exercising. Seriously, I began my weight loss journey with a conscious decision  not to exercise.

Instead I focused on one change: food.

I lived and breathed and obsessed over nutrition every second of every day. I wrote down what I ate when I was awake and – true story – often dreamed about what I had eaten when I slept.

At first I tackled small challenges like weaning myself off of Lean Cuisines and learning how to go food shopping and then moved on to bigger things like exploring the reasons why I was an emotional, secret and binge eater.

Once in a while someone would tell me, “You know, you would lose weight faster if you exercised a couple of times a week.”

Good advice, maybe, but time was and is still not of the essence to me.

I continued on that path until one day I realized that healthy eating habits were suddenly mindless and just something I did. Grocery shopping no longer requires two hours in the store reading food labels, I can recognize real hunger from wanting to eat in response to my emotions, and the idea of ever consuming another Lean Cuisine again makes me gag.

I had a similar journey to exercise. Each day I would wake up with one thought on my mind: When can I walk today?

I walked before work, after work, in the dark, in the cold and rain and when temperatures rose above 100 degrees. I walked to get coffee, to meet my friends at the bar, to run errands and for frozen yogurt. If it was within a few miles, I would walk there. I canceled plans to fit in a walk and often made my friends walk with me.

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to do everything at once, or everything perfectly from the beginning to lose weight. A lifestyle change doesn’t happen with a snap of a finger. There is no time limit for you to get it right. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by losing weight, especially when that number is over 100. But if you focus on actions and doing instead of results, and break down what needs to be done into manageable steps, everything really will fall into place.

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

(Mostly) wordless weekend

Hi!

My weekend began slow, but it turned out to be quite eventful!

Last night I met my best friend for dinner in Montclair. We had planned on using a Groupon at Mediterranea, but the waiters wouldn’t let us order with it in this awesome lounge area in the back of the restaurant! After a long talk with the manager, we ended up just ditching the place and going to a fancy-ish (for us) Italian restaurant called Acapello Ristorante a short walk away.

There was lots of wine involved. I got a delicious (un-pictured) pasta dish with shrimp, calamari and clams in a light tomato sauce and cookie cake with mint chocolate chip gelato for desert.

Cabernet Sauvignon...yum!

It wasn’t the healthiest meal, but I really enjoyed the food and the company. No guilt here 🙂

Today I had grocery shopping on the agenda! My friend Brooke recommended I check out a farmers’ market about 15 minutes away, so that’s where I headed.

I walked away with two huge bags of produce for $15. Definitely will be visiting the market again.

After putting away my groceries, I made a quick pre-run snack and headed to my favorite running spot – a nearby duck pond with lots of flat paths to explore.

Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread with half a banana smashed on top

perfect day for a run!

three miles done!

Now I have to force myself off the couch and over to the laundry mat.  Some chores just have to be suffered through. I’m sure twitter will keep me occupied while I’m waiting for my clothes to be cleaned, however.

Hope everyone is having a relaxing Sunday night!

Wednesday Weigh-in

Another Wednesday, another weigh-in!

I know I shouldn’t be amazed, but I can’t help it sometimes when something so simple – counting calories and exercise – works out.

I continued to be consistent in my calorie intake and made it to the gym at least 5 days I think. My workouts were nothing special. There is something bothering me in my left foot/ankle area so I’m taking it easy on the high-impact workouts and stretching a lot! It’s been a problem for weeks, but I think now it’s finally healing. Until it’s completely better, I decided to wear my Converse sneakers to work instead of flats, since that’s what I’m in the majority of the time and the change seems to be helping. Thank god my job has a relaxed dress code. Now I just need to fine some supportive cute shoes….oh boy.

This week I have a fitness goal instead of a nutrition goal: Abs! It’s likely my weakest area, and something I would really like to be stronger. Any recommendations for some good moves?

Onto the weigh-in!

The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 178.5

This week: 176.5

Change: -2

Total loss: 66.5