Ok. I’m writing this post through clenched teeth but it has to happen. My goal time for the NYC Marathon this upcoming November 2nd (which I am so ecstatically running with Team For Kids, raising money to bring running programs to inner city kids to help them get active) is 4 hours. At the wedding this past weekend, I was talking to my best friend Raven’s Grandpa Charlie who is an incredible fitness guru and muscle man. (The first time I met him he brought me a slab of chocolate from Whole Foods because he had heard I was a choco-a-holic so I have been real smitten with him ever since.)
So we were talking about my goal time and he asked me the dreaded question, “So what is your goal weight.” OK. Realistically, healthy is healthy. What’s most important is one’s BMI (Body Mass Index) (click here to calculate yours) and of course, how you feel. Obviously if you eat lean and green, lead a semi-active life and eat in moderation you will do just fine but in order for me to take that goal time seriously, I need make a few changes. I hate talking about my weight. I don’t care to think about it and I would rather just continue to make healthier choices, reach for the wine every now and then, enjoy gummy bears here and there and run like Forest Gump. Checks and balances am I right?
BUT that’s unfortunately not going to be enough. I am grateful Charlie brought this up because it’s been stewing in the back of my brain for a couple days now. I was going to just ignore it and continue maintaining my ignorance is bliss mentality. But the cats out of the bag and after reading Tara’s blog post yesterday “What I Eat Wednesday” I think it’s time to man up and make some changes. Am I becoming a Vegan? HELL TO THE NO. Anyone who knows me knows that I love steak more than just about anything in this world. I would choose steak over a cupcake. I would choose steak over wine. I would probably choose steak over prince charming (ok maybe not...) Today marks day one of taking accountability for what I put in my mouth.
I’ve been down this road before. It sounds like an awful road I know. It seems boring, not fun, stressful, confusing and expensive. It really isn’t. Here’s how it works.
Step 1: Start Logging What You Eat.
The app I am going to use is called “MyNetDiary Pro” (because I am a sucker and I always go for the one that costs more money but they have a free version) and I am going to log every single thing I put into my mouth today until my marathon. That includes that single bite of a cupcake, a little sleeve of goldfish, a sip of wine, a can of seltzer water, those gummy bears, EVERYTHING. Whatever goes in my mouth goes in the calculator. I like this app because it has a bar code scanner and just about every meal at every restaurant which makes documenting accurate and easy. Why document what you eat? Because it gives you a black and white picture of what is going on. Right now, I am at my plateau weight. This is the weight I’ve maintained since moving to New York in September of 2013. My GOAL weight is between 140-145 pounds. THAT’S 10-15 EFFING POUNDS THAT I WOULD LIKE TO LOSE. Kill me. (No don’t kill me that’s dramatic. I take it back...) I just hate “trying” to lose weight. I think it’s a losing attitude. I think eat healthy and stay active. But in order to make my goal time attainable I really do need to take some accountability for my cupcake, gummy bear and goldfish habit because they aren’t necessarily lean and green…though delicious…so very, very, very delicious. Am I cutting them out of my diet entirely? No, I am instead treating them like a treat instead of a “snack.” (And here’s my tip, if you have a craving, drink some water, eat an actual snack and then have some. If you cheat when you’re not hungry chances are you will take a handful instead of a few servings. (We hear this whole moderation thing all the time…unfortunately it works.) And then get up and go do something. Distract yourself. (This helps me, take it or leave it.)
Step 2: MAKE YOUR MEALS
The last time I set a goal to lose weight I went from 200 to 160(ish) pounds. I lost 40 pounds in 5 months and here’s how. Every Sunday I would plan out my meals for the week. Now things would change here and there when friends wanted to go out to eat etc. but for the most part I packed every meal into a Tupperware bin or a plastic bag and brought it with me. Granted, I was at school from 8am/9am until Midnight 5 days a week so staying out of trouble was pretty easy because I was going from the gym, to classes, to rehearsals with very little downtime. (BUT I had quite the Disneyland habit and staying out of trouble at Disneyland 2-3 times a week was REALLY HARD. But I brought my snacks so instead of getting a churro I ate something small and healthy because losing weight trumped a churro. (Side Note: You are going to save money packing all your food and not ordering out so when you hit your goal weight, plan a little trip or getaway with all the money you saved. Seriously, track the money you save. You won’t be able to believe it. Make that your reward.)
Step 3: Strength and Resistance Training
Like Tara advised, I need to be doing strength and resistance training 3 times a week. I’m already running 25-30 miles a week. Doing cardio is easy for me because I am used to training for a race. It’s already second nature. Getting me into a plank is not so easy. It’s not that I don’t like strength training; it’s just that it’s hard to motivate myself to make it happen because it’s new to me. So Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I am waking up at 5:30am and I am going into my living room and I am making it happen. I am going to make it routine. Pray for me. (Tara, I blame and thank you for this.)
Step 4: More Interval Training
OK I half ass interval training and speed work. I will be honest, I will say it with freedom and abandon because I like you guys and I feel dirty lying to you. Long runs are necessary for marathon training but it’s speed work that burns fat and raises your anaerobic threshold (That second, about the anaerobic threshold I made up, but it seems accurate so I am sticking with it.) Right now what I have been doing is throwing intervals in here or there or completely ignoring them all together. Instead, twice a week I am dedicating the first 3 miles of my runs to intervals instead of at the end, which I have been doing since I started running. It’s easy, speed work makes you faster and running faster makes goal times attainable. So, I have to run faster. (Makes sense right.)
Step 5: Cross Training, Stretching and Recovery
When you train for a marathon it’s ridiculously hard on your body. You’re running 30-45 miles a week. Constant pounding is hard on your muscles, ligaments and bones. So you have to cross train. Am I cross training now……no. Oops, my bad. I need to do it, I get it. And another little seed of wisdom from Tutu and Charlie (Raven’s grandparents who really put me in check and made this whole plan a reality,) they reminded me that as much as I hate yoga, I need to do yoga. A strong core and flexible body can do nothing but help me in my quest to Boston. So yeah, I hate Yoga but not that long ago I hated running and look at me now. I am about to get on ebay and invest in a beautiful Yoga DVD. ACTUALLY strike that I don’t think I have a dvd player…Plan B, I am going to find a yoga studio or someone to re-teach me how to sun salute or do whatever them yogis do…Yay yoga…yay…
SO, there you have it. If only there were 2 more hours a day this would be so much easier, but alas, there aren’t. I am not going to lie finding time to make this happen is going to be a real struggle. I work 10 hours a day and then run or work out. I already don’t have time to date and on the weekends I normally have errands to run or I try to see the friends I am constantly turning down during the week. So I get it, you’re busy. I’m busy too. BUT there’s always time to get healthy and make things happen. You just have to be proactive and plan ahead. (And hey, if some foxy man who happens to be a marathon runner/personal trainer were to come along that would make things a lot easier for me…I need to start dating more athletes…does that sound desperate? That sounds desperate…I take it back…kind of…)
Alright friends, this was a longer post. If you’re still reading I salute you. Any tips for me? Send them my way, comment below or email me RunSelfieRepeat@gmail.com. Send me some delicious healthy recipes, funny memes, jokes, whatever you got because this is happening and I need all the help I can get. Or if you’re starting this journey with me, LET ME KNOW! I just recruited my co-worker Justin who is trying to get back into shape. I’ll introduce him and his story tomorrow. (I need a work buddy and he’s my gummy bear/goldfish enabler so getting him on my team was necessary.)
Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.