Committing to change

A long weekend always fills me with a little regret. Most of you would think it was because I have to say goodbye to the freedom of the weekend, but I’m more upset because of my indulgent habits on Fridays and Saturdays. After leaving a Pats playoff game yesterday at a friend’s apartment, I realized that something needed to change.  I want to be more dedicated to the craft of running, but find it so difficult with all of the social events Chris and I go to, especially because many of those events are still so focused on consuming junky food and celebratory drinks.

I was reading through the Athletarian‘s blog recently, in which she posted a campaign by Vega called #onechange. It describes different snacking habits that ruin your diet and make it impossible to reach your goal.  I am most definitely the Weekend Splurger.

Vega suggests that:
Your best healthy-eating intentions crumble without the structure of Monday to Friday. By Sunday night, you feel like you need a weekend to recover from your weekend. Between late nights, sleeping in, social outings with friends, and catching up after a busy week, it seems impossible to eat right. Monday is your day to reset the dial

That is me, to a T! Its so frustrating. I do so well during the week, and then I get to Friday and things fall apart. When I was laying in bed last night, I decided that this habit needed to change. It seriously has to go, because I have so many other goals that I want to accomplish as compared to imbibing and eating cheese dips. Vega suggests that my #onechange should be eating before I head out, so that I don’t eat when I’m with friends.  I’ve actually tried that strategy before and it doesn’t work.  I think I eat because I can be so awkward in social situations, that I turn to food as something to do, and drinks to loosen me up. Sigh… I think I’m going to need to work on that.
Moving forward, I’m making up a shopping list today and calling it quits on the gross feeling weekends. I headed over to Skinnytaste in order to dig up a few recipes to start me off this week.  You can officially call this a rebirth, because things are going to change from here on out. I’m tired of this feeling.  
This is probably the most important part for all of us, because in order to get there, we need to make lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, they can come at price as they might impact your social life, relationships, and friendships. But for me..I think the most important part is to make sure that I feel my best, work towards my goals, and make my life look like the one that I want. 
How do I get there?
1. Make a commitment to the Saturday morning long run.  
No more excuses, Lauren. You’ve never had a Friday night out that’s replaced the way you feel after a good long run.
2. Look for social events that incorporate health and wellness.
I think the only way you can make a change, is if you surround yourself with the lifestyle you want. Instead of turning a long day of drinking into an event, maybe we could suggest hiking, biking, snowshoeing, etc., to do on our lovely weekend days off.
3. Plan ahead for weekend meals like I do during the workweek.
The only way I’ve been successful with my eating during the week, is when I have an eating plan in place.  I typically make a big casserole or a slowcooker recipe that I eat throughout the workweek, so that I don’t have to cook when life gets busy.  I need to set myself up for success on Fridays as well. I’m wondering if I force myself to go to the gym after work and then have fun planning a healthy dinner for Chris and I, or for friends. I need to learn how to make my own kitchen fun.
4. Learn how to say “NO”.
The simplest strategy is just learning to say no to a drink, when I don’t actually feel like drinking or putting down the chips and dip after my first round.  Believe it or not, there is still pressure to drink and eat at the age of 30, but I need to be ok with saying no. I won’t deprive myself, but I don’t want to indulge Friday and Saturday each week. Just remember how you woke up feeling this morning. 
Let’s chat:
Do any of you have stories of how you changed your lifestyle to meet your goals? Were you met with success and support, or frustration and disappointment?


A Snow Day Recipe!

Hooray!  One of my favorite days of the year! The first snow day!  The best part of this Nor’easter is that it comes on the heels of our school holiday vacation. To be honest, I’m a little worried about heading back to school because I have been getting so much sleep, its criminal. Thanks to all the hustle and bustle of my regular life, I typically get about 6-7 hours of sleep during the work week. School vacation? I’ve been averaging about 10. Yes, you read that right TEN hours of sleep. I’ve never felt better.

(The snow accumulation thus far in our windowsill.)

Today I have two big goals: 1. continue reading “Daring Greatly” and 2. to go to the gym, as it is only a mile away from our apartment. I’m still in so much pain and can barely walk from something I did while exercising the other day. My calves struggle to stretch out, hurt when I flex them, and as a result, I’ve been shuffling around the apartment in compression sleeves! If the pain doesn’t subside by this afternoon, the only workout I’ll be completing is a pool workout. I haven’t experienced muscle soreness like this in all of my half/marathon training and I think it was from a 25 minute spin bike workout!

Anyway, let’s get back to the food, shall we? Weight Watchers strikes again with one of my favorite recipes from their app. Introduce yourself to the Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash and Ricotta. Its delicious and so easy to make!

Adding ground chicken or beef will also increase the taste and protein in the meal (although remember to add about 2-4 more points dependent upon your serving size.). 

I’ve also signed up for Bloglovin and you can follow me here!

Rihanna featuring Nicki Minaj…Raining Men

I just wanted to share this song, as it is my new favorite favorite song of the moment. Thank you to Olivia for burning me the Rihanna c.d. “Loud”, because it has been playing in my car nonstop. I can only imagine that this song will help boost my energy during my runs. Now, I just have to figure out a downloading program other than Limewire so I can have updated music. I’m so behind the timessss ahhh. Anyway ladies, love this song. Because it really is raining men.

Speaking of Rihanna. Let’s discuss bodies, shall we?

After my fourth email from Runners World in about 6 hours, it came up with something interesting to share….specifically, how to lose weight without sacrificing performance or being perpetually hungry. Let’s start with some numbers:

1) You need to know how many calories your body needs at rest. The Harris Benedict Equation allows you to get an estimate of your resting calorie needs or basal metabolic rate:

Women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years) = BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) …. (I figured mine out to be 1385)

666 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years) = BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)

Then, add in your activity factor:
BMR x 1.55 if you exercise 3-5 days a week.
BMR x 1.75 if you exercise 6-7 days a week.
Now you know how many calories you need to maintain your weight.

(Again, even though I’ve been exercising 6 times a week, I’m going to err on the side of caution and discovered that I should be eating about 2146 calories a day to maintain my weight).

2) Keep a food record. It is really important to write down when you eat and drink, what you eat and drink, and how much you eat and drink. And if you really want to be accurate, use an online program like the one here to calculate how many calories you consume.

Now you know both how much you need to eat to keep your weight steady and how many calories you are currently eating. If you cut calories by 250 to 300 per day you will likely see a weight loss of about half a pound per week (500 a day if you want to lose a lb. a week. But remember, factor in your calories burned…but don’t trust the machines!). While that’s a small amount, you won’t be as hungry and will be less likely to abandon the plan. (I should be eating around 1600-1800 calories a day to lose weight while exercising. I must be overeating like woah.)

Here is how to organize your plate if you are trying to decrease body fat:

A little more than two-thirds of the plate should be lean protein (poultry, fish, veggie burgers, soy, low-fat dairy, or eggs) and fruits and vegetables and less than one-third of the plate should be grains or higher-carb vegetables, like pasta, rice, bread, cereal, potatoes or corn. Don’t omit fat, just use a little to enhance flavor. Olive oil, nuts, or a thin spread of nut butter are all good choices. You can also cut calories by avoiding sugary drinks and snacks, and minimize portion size by using small bowls, plates, and glasses.

Sounds easy…lets see if it works! I started the day with my omelet combo job and my tea, but then came to work and had a chocolate. Fail! But only if I don’t get my butt in gear later. If I do, I have a little more wiggle room. Ain’t that a monkey’s uncle!

This evening’s plan includes a 4-5 mile run around Southie, and then hitting up South Boston Yoga with Megan. I want to check out the scene there because even though Golds offers Yoga, South Boston Yoga offers a…Yoga for Runners class on Sundays! Although I’m not a big fan of yoga, I think the once a week stretchfest might do me some good. Boxing shall continue before then, but I might go to a class on Sunday, or tomorrow. Everyday is an adventure.