Posts Tagged ‘workouts’

Find Your Comfort Zone

April 7, 2016

 

4989100064_compYou know that commercial for Weight Watchers, where Oprah talks about how much she loves bread, and how glad she is that she can lose weight and still eat bread everyday? I hate that commercial.

I hate all the diets that let you eat sweets, and bread and pasta. I cringe at celebrities and models who say that they believe in moderation, not deprivation, or even worse the ones who say they don’t diet or exercise, and fill their Instagram feeds with In and Out burger photos and triple scoop icecream cones, all while having a flat, toned midriff.  Or Kim Kardashian’s nutritionist discussing her 1800 calories per day diet, which includes 4 oz. of cheese, and how it is very restrictive to help her lose the baby weight. (1800 calories for not very active 5’2″ woman is far from restrictive!)

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Why do I hate all this? Because for me, none of that works. And because some of them are out and out lying.

First of all, for those of you that I haven’t met, let me state that I don’t have a weight problem. I am on the small side of the equation, but an extra few pounds really shows up on me in all the wrong places. I work out 5-6 days a week, and I walk almost everywhere I go. I eat a healthy diet, but I go rogue every once in awhile and it gets a bit out of control. Because of my usually healthy lifestyle, losing a few unwanted pounds means I need to resort to drastic measures. Calories in and calories out does not work for me. If it did, I would weigh 27 pounds. Nor does “moderation’, eating sugar and carbs, or drinking alcohol.

I don’t think that I have any major food sensitivities but after eating a refined carb heavy diet, or increasing my sugar intake from 0 to daily for awhile, I start to bloat up. I get a gut, and it is a gut that is upset most of the time. It isn’t how I want to look, or feel.
After doing a couple of Whole 30s, I have discovered that I fare best on a fairly rigid program of eating only vegatables, fruit, chicken, fish, eggs and some nuts. When I know that a cookie, or french fries are strickly off limits, I simply don’t eat them. If I try to eat them in “moderation”, I tend to fall off the wagon and over indulge. And it is a wagon I am comfortable being on, most of the time.

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I think it is important to figure out what type of diet and exercise person you are, and figure out how to make that work for you. It may in fact be comprised of a little of everything, or it may be a strict regiman that is completely different from mine. For me, staying the course for at least 30 days, and then allowing pre-meditated treats, works. That means deciding to have a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine at a nice dinner out, but not wavering, just because its Tuesday and there’s cookies in the office.

Exercise follows the same idea. If you find what you like, you will actually do it. In my case, a very set regimen is key. I get up, I go to the gym. When I get too relaxed about it, I find I don’t go, or go so late that my window of opportunity has closed and I am not performing at my best. I know I need to shake it up, and try to diversify my workouts so that each day is different from the one before it. I build in rest days, where I can regroup and recover. Much like my diet, if have to I miss a day or two, I don’t get crazy, and go back to my routine as soon as I can, but I never simply don’t go because I don’t feel like it. This keeps me on track, feeling energetic and strong. If I adopt a “whatever” attitude, I know I will lose the momentum that I have spent years establishing.

I see a healthy lifestyle as important as anything else…I schedule in exercise and plan ahead so that I am not stuck in a situation where I have to eat something unhealthy and unenjoyable, simply because I don’t have a better option. If I am going to eat something that is off my regular diet, I want to enjoy it and move on without regret. I wouldn’t blow off a business meeting, so why should I skip out on the gym? You may find that going for a walk a few times a week is all you need. It really is a matter of to each his own.

Now that I finally know what type of plan works best for me, I can comfortably follow it without feeling too restricted or deprived. That is, as long as Oprah stops talking about all that bread!!

Photos: Glasshouse Images

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Wine and Workouts

July 31, 2013

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Could that glass of red wine negate the effects of your workout? A new study suggests that it might be.

Red wine, touted for its antioxidant powers from resveratrol, is thought to have a positive effect on cardiac health. A study published in the Journal of Physiology followed 27 men over the age of 65. All followed an intense workout regimen, but half of the men were given a resveratrol supplement, while the others received a placebo. The placebo recipients were found to have lower body fat, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol than the resveratrol users. This contradicts the findings in previous studies, which linked the antioxidant to improved heart health.

“We were surprised to find that resveratrol supplementation in aged men blunts the positive effects of exercise training on cardiovascular health parameters, in part because our results contradict findings in animal studies,” said Dr. Ylva Hellsten, the leader of the project, in a statement.

The caveat to the study is that the dose of resveratrol was 100 times higher than what is found in a glass of red wine.

So until further notice, keep working out hard, and enjoy your wine in moderation.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Back to the Gym: Day 1

February 21, 2013

Young woman stretchingFor those of you who know me, my workouts were part of what defined me:six times a week, every week.

I took hardcore cycling classes, ran intervals, and did circuit training, rowing and weight lifting. If I was really sore, or my Saturday cycling teacher was on vacation, perhaps I’d throw a little Pilates into the mix.

Then, in early November, something snapped. Literally. My patella, or kneecap for those not familiar with anatomy, cracked in a perfect, horizontal line.

I barely moved for a few weeks, and then worked my way up to a hobble. After about 8 weeks, I was walking with a limp. I have been progressing well in my physical therapy, and with the week off from my crazy work routine, I decided the time had come. I removed the medical freeze from my membership and gingerly hit the gym.

I started on the ARC trainer, a variation on the elliptical machine, which has a resistance setting of 1-100 and an incline setting of 1-10. Normally, I would do this at 10 and 100. Today, I left the incline relatively flat, and started slowly at a resistance of 15, working my way up to 50 at a steady but moderate pace.

Next, I tried some upper body weights. I was able to do about 80% of my former weight, and did some seated rows, lat pull downs, bicep curls, triceps pull downs.

I worked on most of the leg exercises that we do in physical therapy, this time working both legs. Although the left leg did most of the heavy lifting during the healing time, now it’s wounded sister gets all the attention. It’s time to show them both a little love.
I did floor based abdominal exercises with a small medicine ball. No standing cable twists, and no decline bench, which can put strain on the legs.

I stretched and iced and I am good to go.

I feel energized, accomplished and really, really hungry!

I expect to feel some soreness tomorrow, but hopefully the good kind, where you challenge your muscles and they let you know that they did their best.

I know I will get stronger everyday. It is hard to restrict myself from doing too much, but I know if I injure myself again, I will be sidelined for another few months. Moderation is everything.

photo: Glasshouse Images


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