Fitness & Weight Loss

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Yesterday I ran a mile without stopping.  I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again, I know. 

Actually, I ran a mile without stopping, then another mile and a half of run/walk intervals. [also known as wogging.] I am an interval girl, through and through- most of my running consists of a running and walking combo.  And of course, when I say most of my running, I mean my actual running.  According to my Garmin, I’ve now run four times in 2012, for a total of 7.5 miles. 

It’s the 21st of March.  Four times. And I try to pretend I’m a year-round runner. HA!
[much like “I’m a writer” was more of an end goal for several years in my life before I actually put it into daily practice, you know?]

Run #3 of 2012. The Shamrock 2 Mile Fun Run.

It always surprises me when I return from a running hiatus [oh! look at that. I’ve already declared myself “back” after one strong run. ha!] and I realize I haven’t lost ALL of my fitness abilities.  When looking through old training plans and notes last night, I realized that I hadn’t run a mile without stopping since August.  So doing so last night put a smile on my face.  Especially when I saw that I had done so in 10:20.  My first mile I ever ran without stopping in my lifetime was at least two minutes slower than that.  This is a reminder to myself [and to you!] that improvement often happens naturally when you give it time.

I’ve completely adopted the theory that I will always be softer over the winter months and no doubt gain about 10 lbs.  Which, of course, I did.  It’s the winter setback. [thank you holiday treats. and milk shakes. and mac n cheese. and laziness. and the “boyfriend layer.” ] Before that happened, I was still 12 lbs away from my “goal healthy weight.”  If your smarter than a fifth grader, you now realize I have about 22 lbs to lose.  [which shall bring me a total weight loss of 60 pounds and change. sweet.]

Now that winter has officially left the building, my desires to stop hiding behind the season to get my butt back into the weight loss gear have reappeared in full force.  I’ve set a long term number specific goal. [20+ pound weight loss before 2013. ] I’ve set a short term number specific goal. [10 pound weight loss before June 1.] And I’ve made a list of five back-to-basics healthy priorities to focus on NOW.

 5 Healthy Weight Loss Focuses Taking Place at THS Headquarters:

1. Make one healthy decision. Now make another My life mantra is alive! I’ve been trying to be more mindful in every area of my life and ask myself “what is the healthy choice?” each time I’m faced with a decision.  The easiest time to put this in to action is in terms of nutrition and rest.  It’s easy for me to remember to order a veggie option from the Chinese place or make my omelette with egg whites.  It’s easy to remember that 8 hours of sleep is better for me than staying up an extra hour to watch something on hulu. 

It takes more effort to put this mantra to use in other areas of my life.  In terms of fitness, I could afford to choose 10 minutes of ab work over the snooze button.  I could choose a strength training work out over internetting, and stretching after a run rather than laying in the grass. 

I’m also aiming to search my heart for the healthiest choices in terms of relationships, office work, what I spend my time reading/viewing/listening to, and just about every other area of my not-so-exciting life as well.

2. Drink Clean. For me this means: drink water. unsweetened tea. black coffee. No lattes. No sugary juices. No iced coffee filled with creamer. No Italian sodas. [can you tell my boyfriend is a barista? and that I’ve fully taken advantage of that for the past several months?]  Smoothies filled with produce, ice, and healthy-things [real ones, not imaginary healthy things] are do-able because of focus #3…

3. Load Up on Freggies.  Freggies = fruits and veggies. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that when I fill my meals and snacks with fruits and veggies, [and healthy fats and proteins! but that’s something someone more qualified should explain.] I leave less room for hunger/cravings for junk.  I’ve found that my weight-loss is much more successful when I aim to get 5+ servings of fruits and veggies into my body daily.

I vow to choose an apple over gummy bears in the afternoon, and pepper strips over potato chips at lunch time.  Oh, and I will never ever ever choose ice berg lettuce.  But I do love some myself some celery. [which has some nutrition hidden in those few calories.] Unfortunately, wine, though made from grapes, does not count as a Freggie.

4. Once a Week Treats. People who are smart: Tina for teaching us all about Cookie Friday, especially in her book – where, even though I had read it on her blog 100 times, it really hit me as a helpful tip when I read about it again in print.  Celebrating Cookie Friday is all about finding the balance in indulgence.

I love this idea and have shared it with real-life friends asking for suggestions on how to start their own healthy living/weight loss journey.  Last summer it was in full effect for my friend Molly and I who decided “Ice Cream Friday” was needed after a full week of stopping at Stewart’s for a scoop or two after dinner.

I call it phase one the ENJOY IT DIET, and here is why:

When I only eat a treat [in this case ice cream] once a week, I enjoy it more.  I have six days of looking forward to that ice cream.  I know it’s coming.  I don’t give in to temptation to have some ice cream on Tuesday afternoon.  And I don’t binge when Friday comes and eat an entire pint by myself [not that I’ve never done it, honestly.]  When the glorious ice cream celebration comes into view, I am totally satisfied with one cone filled with flavor.  When it’s over, I have six days of anticipation to look forward to again.

And anticipation is damn sweet, if you ask me.  Or Flaubert. Or Professor Wilder.

So from now on, I’m doing TWO treats a week.  One frozen treat a week – be it ice cream, froyo, milkshake, etc.  And, to combine #2 with #4, only one latte or other fancy-coffee shop drink a week, too. 

5. Run More Miles.  This will, no doubt, be the easiest for several reasons.  First, I have officially started my “training plan” for a 15K I’m running at the end of May, with Jen and Alicia.  I am hoping that last nights happy run will motivate my next run, and the run after that, too. [It usually happens that way for me, at least.]

Not to mention – the way the weather has been in the CDNY, it hasn’t been too difficult to convince me to spend some time outside, pounding the pavement and logging the miles.

Also – next Monday starts my leisurely running dates with my friend Kristine.  We started this last year and have 3/26 marked on the calendar for the date we are starting in 2012.  After work we head out  to our favorite trail to catch up on each others happenings and get a good sweat on for a couple of miles.  It’s so helpful to have a running buddy when forming [& reforming!] a habit.

It's also good to have a buddy at the ball game 😉

 Finally… some questions for you, dear reader, to answer:

1. Are you interested in hearing more about my weight loss attempts, struggles, successes, and such?  I’m happy to add some updates to THS, especially because I think you guys are so damn good at keeping me accountable to my goals!  What are your thoughts?

2. Have you had some weight loss, fitness, or other healthy-changes success in your own life? What encouragement, tips, tricks, or the like would you give to someone starting their own journey?

3. Clearly, my sweet-treat weakness is ice cream treats.  My savory weakness is kettle cooked BBQ chips.  What are your snack-time weaknesses?

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22 thoughts on “Fitness & Weight Loss

  1. Laura

    YES I want to hear all about it. I am in a major funk right now and would love to hear how you are getting back to the healthy decisions, so it can encourage me to do as well!

    My indulgence is chips – tortilla chips particularly. LOVE THEM.
    Laura recently posted..spring breakin’ and eatin’

    1. Heather Post author

      Major funk!? we will battle it together!

      I already have “talk to Laura about accountability” scrolled in my journal this week. You have totally inspired and motivated me to get back to work after your AWESOME successes this past year. You encourage me so much and I never would have made it this far in the journey without you. [wow – didn’t mean to turn this reply into a total sap-fest, but it totally went there 😉 ]


  2. Danielle

    I have too many weaknesses! Like the chocolate chocolate cake currently in my kitchen. And the fabulous fudge bars I’ll be making for book club this afternoon. And Doritos. Hopefully when the treats from last weekend are out of my house, it will be less of a problem!
    Danielle recently posted..3 Months!!

  3. Halley (Blunder Construction)

    OH BOTHER! While I’m excited to spend more time outdoors walking and running again, I can’t help but feel like I’m a few paces behind this year. I ate a lot of cookies this winter. I continually sabotage myself on weekends with more cookies. I try to like salad, but I really only use it as a means to purvey ranch dressing.

    I guess instead of thinking about how much better I used to be at running (and not eating everything), I try to look at my current inabilities as a reprieve. I’m going to feel AWESOME after a 3 mile run, compared to my peak of fitness, I’d have to run 5 or 6 to feel the same amount of accomplishment. I can still get a great workout from walking, but that won’t be the case when I shed 5 or 10 pounds. Does that make sense?

    Keep us updated because I need the motivation, too!
    Halley (Blunder Construction) recently posted..Chocolate-Dipped Almond Crescent Cookies

    1. Heather Post author

      That totally does make sense!

      I think all winter I’ve been saying “I know it will change when I’m training again.” because it totally did last year and I trust that it will again.

      Also – I love your use of salad. seriously.

  4. Sarah

    Yes!!! Please tell us the successes and the struggles.

    I had a similar issue this winter. I even signed up for a 1/2 marathon this spring to counteract the winter pudge. My plan didn’t work, but I am very motivated now to eat cleaner in order to look bangin’ on my wedding day in 3 months.

    In fact after about 4 days now on my cleaner eating plan I feel a whole lot better!!

    1. Heather Post author

      it’s amazing how healthy foods make you FEEL so much better, too!

      I truly think that making ONE healthy decision at a time helps me stay motivated to make the next one healthy, too. Also, the more healthy decisions I make [one at a time] the more likely I am to not dive off the deep end if I make one UNhealthy decision or indulge a bit too much. I’m much more likely to “get back on the horse” RIGHT AWAY if I’ve been CHOOSING healthy options on purpose, you know?

      Also – so excited for you and your wedding day! SO SOOOOOOOOOOOOON! 🙂 xo

  5. Alyssa @ fit and fun in third

    This is so awesome! It’s great that you are putting your goals down on paper (er, computer)… When I started my journey to getting healthy, I realized I needed to have set plans, which you totally do! For me, it left less room for error! I can’t wait to read about your journey!!!
    Alyssa @ fit and fun in third recently posted..W.I.A.W: I need your help.

  6. Jessica

    I definitely think you should write about your progress. Blogging always keeps topical issues at the forefront and you’re right, it’s extra accountability kicks in the tush!

    I’ve dropped around 35 lbs since 2007. I’d never exercised so everything I’ve done to this point has been “try this” and “learn as I go.” The best suggestions I have are to listen to your body, and continually challenge yourself with new experiences and ways to get the fitness job done. Do something social and engage in something with a schedule, or people you have to be accountable to. Plan meals and snacks and always have healthy options ready to go in the fridge. Keep it simple and keep it fun!
    Jessica recently posted..The many faces of Clive Kohler…

  7. Rebecca @ Miss Magnolia Munches & Moves

    I would love to continue hearing about your weight loss goals and journey! I have been thinking of implementing the once a week treat, myself. My weakness is definitely ice cream, but I also love to bake. I think cheating once a weak on Sundays will be fun. I’m going to try to incorporate my love for baking by finding a new recipe to try, creating and tasting it, then taking the leftovers to work or friends.
    Rebecca @ Miss Magnolia Munches & Moves recently posted..What I’m Loving (& Not) Wednesday

  8. Ari @ Ari's Menu

    I really really love your mantra! I agree so much that making healthy choices (whether it’s running 10 miles, or making a conscious effort to stop eating when you feel full) is the basis for weight loss, and just healthy living in general. The biggest thing that I’ve found helpful, is taking things one step at a time. When I had tried to lose weight before, within 24 hours I would always end up feeling overwhelmed, not knowing what was okay to eat, feeling like I couldn’t have anything I wanted, and quickly giving up. When it finally stuck is when I took it very slowly, and made little changes over the course of time. I started with the things that were really bad and I knew I could go without, and took small steps from there. The other thing that really helps me, is knowing that every moment is an opportunity to make a new choice. Even if I had a super unhealthy breakfast that left me feeling awful, the entire day isn’t shot. As soon as I realize I’m not happy with the choices I’ve made, I can start making healthier ones that second. I feel like it’s so important to celebrate those types of accomplishments to keep yourself from giving up!
    Ari @ Ari’s Menu recently posted..Gluten-Free Blueberry Marshmallow Buttermilk Cupcakes

  9. Priscilla

    Hey, Just sending encouragement your way. I was debating running or remaining laying about and your fitness blog popped up on my facebook and I read it, fell asleep for a half hour and when i woke up there it was again so i put on my running shoes and went for a run! You’re an inspiration I would love to here your running & weight loss goals and accomplishments. 15k! how will you train for that in just a few months. I am training for a 5k in july and im worried!

    1. Heather Post author

      thank you so much for this sweet comment, Priscilla. and can i just say GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO YOU! for getting those shoes on and getting out the door 🙂 [am v. proud!]

      I am hoping to share more about my training plan for the 15K later, but the short answer is this: slowly increasing my milage over the next nine weeks. I think it definitely helps that I’ve trained for a 15K in the past [as well as several other races], so I kind of know what to expect from my body during training.

      And also – there is a good possibility I won’t be RUNNING the entire 9.3 miles. I see some wogging in my future there, for sure. Especially if the heat continues to rise over the next couple of months!!

  10. Lauren @ sassy molassy

    You can do it, Heather, especially with the great goals you’ve set for yourself. They are achievable and realistic. I’m always shocked and amazed when a few impressive souls are able to workout and eat nearly 100% cleanly. I mean, don’t they freaking want some ice cream or a latte?

    My weaknesses are: ice cream (when it’s in the freezer), chips and cheese and just in general over eating for no reason.
    Lauren @ sassy molassy recently posted..A Snow Day? SNOw Way!

  11. Miranda @ Biting Life

    Thanks for sharing this with us 🙂 It’s nice to know that I’m not alone with having a “setback” and that other bloggers are normal people and sometimes they gain weight too!! A lot of times, it can get sad, because it seems like nobody out there is having problems losing weight. I’d love to hear more about your weight loss journey because I feel like we are very similar. I love the goals you’re focusing on – I’ve been working on those same things.

    I’m always having one craving or another, whether it be for sweet, chocolate, or salty/cheesy. I’ve been able to identify that for some reason, my body does not count chocolate and sweet as the same craving, while for some reason salty and cheesy are the same thing. My most common guilty pleasure treats are gummy worms, Reese’s (specifically the Easter egg shape!!), and either Cheetos or tortilla chips & salsa. I feel like I crave bad foods all the time – it’s hard!!
    Miranda @ Biting Life recently posted..Baked Chicken Taquitos

  12. Kristen

    I love that you are sharing your weight loss journey here! I had lost 45+ pounds almost 5 years ago, and in the last year, managed to put 25 of it back on. I get the setback, and love hearing how other people overcome it.

    I also love that you used the term “wogging”. This is the term I use frequently to explain my non-pool workouts to people. They usually look at me like I’ve grown a second head or something.

    The trick I am using right now is setting goals for myself to hit. I just finished a “wogging” 5k, and in 6 weeks, I am scheduled to do another 5k… only I want to run that one. As long as I have milestones, it isn’t quite so hard to stay on track.
    Kristen recently posted..Garden goodness

  13. Kelly@EverydayHealthLetter

    1. Yes! I think sharing your goals, struggles and fitness successes not only helps us readers who get good tips, but (like you said) helps you stay motivated as well by writing it down, getting it out there, and receiving feedback. Keep it coming!
    2. The biggest thing I’ve had to overcome is learning not to overeat when I’m bored. I used to head straight for the cabinets when I had nothing better to do. Its been hard, but I’ve gotten into the habit of not allowing myself to eat everything in sight when I’m just sitting around. (I also owe some credit to and Pinterest as well)
    3. My weakness is chocolate- chocolate ANYTHING. My savory weakness is definitely french fries, they’re just so good! (sigh).
    Kelly@EverydayHealthLetter recently posted..Why do Doctor’s Appointments take So Long?

  14. Emily

    I love reading your weight loss/fitness tips because you take the very same approach to weightloss that I do. Reading about other people’s real struggles makes me realize that I’m not crazy and I feel like we have similar struggles so I really relate to your weight loss issues/successes!

    The biggest thing I’ve learned in weight loss is you can’t compare your journey to anyone else. I have struggled with weight for 22 years and I can’t expect that my journey is going to happen overnight or even in a year. Everything takes time, and you can’t let setbacks completely put you down. I also have the approach that how you choose to lose weight is the right way for you. Just because you don’t eat oatmeal and green smoothies doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful and if those things work for you, that’s wonderful, but if they don’t, there are other ways too!

    Snack-time weaknesses? Always and forever delicious salty chips. YUMMMM

    You’re doing awesome, so proud of you <3
    Emily recently posted..Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

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