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?]
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.
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?