Dear middle aged man with the XL spare tire, slightly too small tee shirt and hot pink iPod at the Y,
Go you! This may not be true but while I was sweating it out on the erg machine this is the story I made up in my head as inspiration. It’s January 4th. And your iPod is hot pink. I’m pretty sure you’re a resolutioner. But I think you’re a resolutioner that will stay around much longer than the end of January. I think you will manage to lose weight an stay healthy for years to come. You look like you found whatever gym clothes you had in the house from 10 years ago. That iPod screams “I borrowed this from my daughter”. Your sneakers look like they walked here from 1998. And. Well. That’s my proof. You didn’t go out and buy all new clothes and equipment. You probably didn’t just spend $200 at Whole Foods buying al fresh and organic food and swear you’re gonna bring a salad to work everyday. You’re just here. At 7:30 on a Friday night. Putting in the time. Putting in the time to make you healthy, to ensure a longer life, to give you more memories with your family and friends. Putting in the time rocking out to a hot pink iPod. That is BA. Just keep doing your thang. I hope I run into you a lot.
This machine says it’s only been 7 minutes!? You need a longer back story.
Speaking of the Y I finally signed up. I’ve been in my current apartment for a year and a half. The Y is 0.7 miles from my house. I timed it last night. The drive was 2 minutes and 7 seconds. I had resisted because of cost. The “fitness center” in my office park was sufficient. And free. But some new companies moved in and that place got hella crowded including 4 guys who do weight circuits together 2x a week. Don’t get me wrong. Dudes were respectful. And it was nice to see them over and over. But that room wasn’t big enough for them and my v-ups. Plus competing with other runners for treadmills and warm up an cool down space. Plus they have 1 bike and 4 elliptical a meaning I had to fight for my cross training space too. For a little while last year I tried Planet Fitness. But it was too much what their commercial said they aren’t. It was mostly dudes pumping serious iron. And stick thin women pretending to use the elliptical but never actually breaking a sweat. I had been a member of a Y before. But it had been expensive. Turns out the greater Boston Ys consider me a young adult and my heealth insurance pays for part of it. (Autocorrect change that to wealth insurance. I wish!) So now it’s the same cost for a month as a night out for drinks. Not even dinner. Just drinks! Plus they have two pools, classes, and more equipment that is well maintained than I could ever need. And on top of that all the areas are spacious and clean. And are filled with teenaged sports hopefuls, moms and dads trying to get fit, and people like me, putting in the time for weight loss and running goals. Plus 4 times a week they have group 5ks. For free. I’m excited. Bring on the serious half marathon training!
Hearts and hot pink iPods!
It’s Playlist Thursday! And this week’s theme? Songs to cool down to. Often if I sit too long during cool down listening to these I’m tempted to just curl up where ever I am. Office fitness center, side of the road, my car.
Here’s how Playlist Thursday works. I’ve got three songs for you; one in each of the following categories.
Something Old: Songs that are at least 5 years old. (I know that isn’t too long to be considered old, but music turnover happens quickly.)
Something Current: Songs that have been released within the past year.
Something to Consider: This is the wild card category. Feel free to list any song: old, current, guilty pleasure, underground, whatever.
Artist: Little Big Town
Title: Bring it on Home
Side Note: I just love the harmonies and that deep down slow twang
Quotable: “When your long day is over, and you can barely drag your feet, the weight of the world is on your shoulders. I know what you need, bring it on home to me”
Something Current (I cheated. It’s 18 months old. Sue me)
Artist: Brad Paisley
Title: This is Country Music
Side Note: I just love Brad Paisley. It starts out slow, has an excellent message, but then at the end you get this little pump up. It’s just enough to get up off the floor from cool down and get on with the rest of what is left of my day. (I picked the video below because it also shows why I love Brad Paisley and his music. Plus that man can play)
Quotable: “This is country music, and we do”. Especially the first time he sings this line and then the beat after.
Something to Consider
Artist: Richard and Linda Thompson
Title: Dimming of the Day
Side Note: This song is so fluid and so relaxing. And I know it from the soundtrack to the Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood and is played during such a poignant moment. (This video is a little odd and I didn’t watch the whole thing. But it has the closest sound to the version that I listen to)
Quotable: “You pulled me like the moon pulled on the tide”
And there you have it. Now I want a nap.
A couple weeks ago, I had a little breakdown. It was nothing major but I was having myself quite the pity party and couldn’t keep it all together. And a very smart lady listened, gave me a hug, and told me to get a grip. A little harsh? Maybe. But she was right. I can’t say that I have the best grip on everything yet. But I’m working on it. And it’s improving. This same smart lady (Ok. It was my Mom. Moms always have the answers) pointed out that I had been much happier when I was eating well and running. And again, she was right. I’m working very hard at recommitting to all the healthy habits I had last fall. This means 5 things.
1) I can’t say yes every time a co-worker says “want to grab a drink?”, no matter how good of an idea it sounds like at 5pm. It rarely is. And when it is a good idea it’s because it isn’t 4 nights in a row. The challenge comes in because I like the people I work with. Were all getting beat up professionally and going out to blow off steam together sounds like a solid plan. But we sit around and most rehash everything going on. And it’s draining. Not in a these-people-are-ridiculous-and-why-am-I-here kind of way. It’s draining in a we-can’t-get-over-this-because-all-we-do-is-live-it-during-the-day-and-relive-it-at-night way. And that’s no bueno for my mental, emotional, or physical health. And it’s definitely unhealthy for my bank account. Already in the past week I’ve said no three times. And yes once. Two weeks ago it would have been yes all 4 times. Plus we do talk about other stuff and that is usually hilarious. So one night is a good compromise for my weeknight rest day.
2) I need to go to bed at the same, reasonable hour every night. I was going to bed anytime between 11:30 and 1:30. I need 7-8 hours of good sleep. If I get up at 7 it’s only the nights that I go to bed before 12 that have a remote chance of being enough. And even on those nights I’m not asleep by 12. I’m watching Netflix. Or checking twitter. Or tumblr. No more. Screens off at 10. I can read or write or hum to myself. But that’s it.
3) I need to stick to Weight Watchers. I just do.
4) This training plan owns my life. During the 24 week plan we’re allowed 6 blow off days. 6. And they can’t be used for Sunday’s long runs. And it icludes sick days. Traveling to cousin Christmas on a Sunday? Gotta find an hour to run. Supposed to be somewhere right after work on Tuesday? Waking up early for a run or have a RUNch. Got a case of the Mondays? Too bad. Get thy derriere to the gym, on the bike, and lifting weights.
5) Have some fun. Whether it’s running with friends. Finding a goofy winter hat to train in. Reading a hilarious runner blog. Inviting co-workers over for dinner. Something. Something that’s not sitting at a bar or restaurant griping. We’ve got it good. We have jobs, homes, friends, and our health. We need to laugh more. Laughing is the very best part of life. And I’m doing it enough.
Hearts and lifestyle changes
Paleo week 1:
Days without grains, dairy, legumes, or anything processed: 7
Days grumpy: 7
My thoughts overall are this. Paleo is great for short term. It’s got me thinking more and more about food as nutrition. And is helping me make much better food choices. But it’s hard yo. And a boat load of work. For instance, I went to the beach on Saturday. The beach is a thing in my family. Because we live so close I was raised to always have my beach bag ready to go and we’ll grab a bagel on the way and bring sandwiches and everyone will be happy. Well. No sandwich for me. Instead I had to pack a salad, cut fruit, raisins, almonds, and, no joke, 86 ounces of water/seltzer. We went later than I’ve gone in a long long time so breakfast was at home. No easy bagel, had to make eggs. And cut fruit. The salad was good. And so was the fruit. But my Mom’s special K chips looked so much better. We left around 6:30. It’s at least an hour ride home. I was starving. But there aren’t really any Paleo options around, it’s sort of a trashy boardwalk full of mostly fried stuff or pizza. Normally I would have gone for the pizza. Instead I bought a lobster, came home, cooked it, and made this salad. Yes, the salad was much better for me than the pizza would have been. But I didn’t eat until after 8:30. Hungry me!
I also wake up tired every day. And not tired like I want to go back to sleep, but tired like I have no energy. And I’m pretty sure it’s because I cut out complex carbs. My body has no fuel to run on until I eat breakfast. Usually around lunch time is when I’m starting to feel energized.
Yes, my 4 mile run was actually pretty good on Sunday. And yes I lost a lot of weight last week. But at what cost. I’m hungry all the time, I have no energy, and during mile 4 of that run I had nothing nothing left in the tank and could maybe have hurt myself if I had run much longer. I’m going to stick with this, but next week I’m adding sweet potatoes. I also might eat a few servings of grains. I’m walking 26.2 miles for the Jimmy Fund and I don’t think I can walk for 14 hours with so little energy. I’m going to evaluate this weekend.
As promised. Here’s the big news. Half Marathon training officially kicks off this week. Ok. That’s not the big news. The actual news is I’m going Paleo. Before everyone jumps on to tell me how poor a decision this is, or how fad diets don’t work, I understand. But, here’s the thing. Nicole inspired me with her post about diet and nutrition choices and leaving each other alone. I am a Weight Watchers fan. I understand that with portion control and exercise I will lose weight healthily and will be most likely to keep the weight off. However, right now, my will power is zip to none. I’m at a point in my life where most of my social interactions are around going out for drinks. Or have people over for dinner. Or meeting for dinner and drinks. And it’s so easy to tell myself to have one glass of red wine and then get to the bar and someone else ordered a large beer and then I want that. Also, I work sort of long hours (not crazy long, but not just 40 hours a week). And some days I don’t want to cook. So I eat overly processed food. And then “treat” myself to an ice cream bar. And then one more because I have Weight Watchers points left for the day. In making the decision to try Paleo, I checked out some naysayers. And they had some really valid points. The one that really stuck with me as a reason not to try Paleo was this. If these foods I’m supposed to be avoiding were really what was making me fat, then everyone in Asia would be fat. But the Japanese are some of the healthiest people in the world. And right here at home, I have a friend who eats cheese, beer, wine, bread, peanut butter, and beans to her heart’s content and she’s one of the healthiest people I know. So I don’t think this will be a super long term plan. But for now, I need some strict rules to get me back on the weight-loss, feed-my-body-well track. And boy does the Paleo have some rules. I like rules, though. So at least for a little bit, Paleo is my diet. And we’ll see how this goes. Living without grains, dairy, and legumes. Plus no processed stuff. Including Diet Coke. You might want to avoid me in the mornings for the next little while.
Walking the Jimmy Fund Walk for the 4th time to raise money to help kids with Cancer
Please consider supporting me in this cause.
Donate here: www.jimmyfundwalk.org/2012/liz_kinnal
What up homies, friends, family, and random internet strangers/friends?
line finishers. All to raise money to help sick kids be more like kids and less like patients. The Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber work hard to rid the world of this horrible disease, cancer, all the while remembering that treatment, doctor’s appointments, and hospital stays are interrupting a childhood. Money raised for the Jimmy Fund goes to brilliant scientists working diligently in labs to fight this disease and goes to creating an environment for these kids to get better in. When my Mom was sick in 1972 she stayed in an adult Oncology ward, there was no child ward, my grandparents could only visit during visiting hours, there were no cots for parents to stay with a scared child, and she survived through her strong will and the luck of living in New England in the back yard of some world class physicians and surgeons. These days kids get better with other kids, parents can stay all night and hold the hand of their son or daughter, and those kids are all there to see the best and brightest surgeons Boston and the world have to offer. And not just by luck. Boston has some of the top hospitals in the country. The Jimmy Fund supports it all.
I’ll be back to blogging about pretending to be a runner tomorrow. With some interesting news. Promise.
I’ve been wanting to write one of these posts for almost 6 weeks, but I keep being far away from a computer on a Thursday. So I haven’t. This week I’m fixing the situation. And bringing you my Playlist Thursday. Head on over to Pavement Runner for the scoop on his list and a list of other bloggers participating. But first, here’s my list. The rules are like this. It’s Thursday; I give you three songs on my current playlist that fit each of these categories. This week Pavement Runner’s theme is “Local Flavor”
Well, that’s my list. I hope they’ll bring a little pep in your step! Anyone else got some faves from Boston/MA? Anyone not friends with me anymore for liking NKOTB more than BSB?