Blood, Sweat & Tears

{Blood, Sweat and Tears} 12/18/11

Okay, I have to be completely honest here. I really do enjoy running and staying in shape...for 11 months out of the year anyway. But...from Thanksgiving to New Years my fitness routine has a tendency to morph from sweat-sessions at the gym to a workout of the hand-to-mouth variety. Like a bear. Preparing for hibernation.


                   
                                             ....can you blame me?
              Holiday parties, family dinners, cookie exchanges...but I digress.

What I really want to talk about is a newfound hobby/borderline obsession I discovered this fall: obstacle racing.

                                        Obstacle what??

Obstacle racing seems to be a relatively new phenomenon, swiftly gaining popularity over the last couple years. Courses vary in length and difficulty, but the general idea seems to be about teamwork, pushing yourself to the limit and having a great time!

This past September I joined a courageous group of co-workers, (along with countless men and women in tutus/camo/sparkly shorts/face paint) at Squaw Valley for the NorCal  Tough Mudder.





For those of you not yet in the know, Tough Mudder is a 10-13 mile course (depending on location) with 24 military-style obstacles designed by British Special Forces. 


source: toughmudder.com

Events are held around the country and benefit an awesome cause: Wounded Warrior Project.

What an amazing experience! By mile 13, we had trekked up and down and up the mountain, crawled through mud and snow and "walked the plank" for a swim in delightful 50 degree water. I had rope burns, skinned knees and a strained ankle. I was exhausted. And thrilled. And completely hooked. I've already pre-registered for next years' TM!

Next up: Spartan Race!

{A New Acquaintance}   12/27/11

32 days of pure, unadulterated gluttony, and-dare I say it?-greed (maybe not in general, but at least for all manner of sugary treats) has finally come to an end. Time to get back to running, gym-ing and eating healthy (or at least paring down on the sweets and carby goodness.)

I met the stairmaster today.  I mean, it's not like I'd never seen it before or didn't know what it was. I've actually been studiously avoiding that particular piece of butt-kicking gym equipment for most of my adult life. I preferred to spend my cardio time becoming aquainted with the crossramp and making friends with the treadmill, occasionally saying hello to the stationary bikes and completely snubbing that little corner of the room where the women always appear about to keel over with exhaustion. But, with the Fight For Air stair climb benefitting the American Lung Association coming up in March...I figured it was time. With Travis's instruction and motivation I summoned my courage. I lasted all of 10 long, painful, about-to-have-a-heart-attack minutes. But I did it! There's a strong chance stairmaster and I never become bff's. At this point I'll settle for frenemies.



{HIIT Me, Baby}   12/28/11

Day 2 of our post-holiday sweat sessions introduced me to a whole new cardio-concept: High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT.  Up to this point my cardio go-to has been a good moderate jog, using distance as my main benchmark. 3-5 miles: good day. 6.5-8 miles: great day. My concentration has been on building endurance and getting in shape. But realistically it's probably not the best way to train, at least, all the time. Lucky for me, Travis is continually researching different types and styles of exercise and I'm more than willing to play guinea pig. So...HIIT, as you might assume from the name, is an exercise style that intersperses periods of high intensity workout, such as sprints, with less strenuous activity such as a moderate jog. While Travis likes to fully understand the science behind the fitness, I usually go for the Wikipedia-style overview. Here are a couple of the key benefits that sold me on trying this new format: Wikipedia cites a study by Gibala et al. which "demonstrated 2.5 hours of sprint interval training produced similar biochemical muscle changes to 10.5 hours of endurance training." All I have to say to that is, "Yes please!" I seriously love the idea of being able to see the results of my workouts in a fraction of the time. Wikipedia also mentions a study by King suggesting HIIT increases resting metabolic heart-rate for 24 hours post-workout. Meaning: I can feel slightly less guilty about the occasional chocolate slip-ups. So, today we tried our first HIIT workout at the local track. It was a great opportunity to debut my new pink Nike AirMax running shoes....


They were super comfortable and cushion-y, (and hello, pink!) but the jury is still out on whether they will replace the Nike Lunar Eclipse as my favorite running shoe. All in all the workout was definitely tougher than I thought it would be...2 miles worth of intervals left me winded. And I fully anticipate needing a soothing massage sometime this weekend! But I'm intrigued by this new concept and it looks like we'll be making interval training a regular part of our 2012 exercise routine. What cardio works for you? Have you ever tried HIIT?

{New Year's Goals and a Glass of Spinach}   1/2/11

One of the best, greatest things about the new year has to be the feeling of having a clean slate and a fresh start. I've never been a huge fan of New Year's resolutions (because really, if something needs to change there's no point in waiting around, right??) but I do look at the start of a new year as a chance to reasses and re-evaluate what's important to me, and what will be important in the coming year.  So here's what I'm working on now:

1. Being a better communicator. I love my family and friends, and think of them often. But do they really know how much they mean to me? I'm ashamed to say I have a tendency to treat the phone like kryptonite. And let's be real, I'm no superman.

2. Trying new things. It's easy for me to play it safe and go with what I already know and love (Painting all 10 fingernails the same color! Eating pizza sans scary toppings like arugula or eggplant!). But stepping outside my comfort zone can have fabulous results. (see below)

3. Making exercise and healthy eating a consistent priority. I can't say I love making time for the gym when my to-do list is a million miles long and I'm already feeling sleep deprived. And boy is it hard to ignore my raging sweet tooth in favor of (gulp) fruits and vegetables. Well, it's time for some willpower! I need to rock a wedding dress come summer!

I had a great opportunity to check off both 2 & 3 this morning by giving Travis's post-workout protein shake a try. I'd been avoiding it because 1. it's full of my nemesis: spinach and 2. it's an absolutely ungodly shade of green. Drinks should not be green. (Notable exceptions include fruity alcoholic beverages. See? I'm flexible!)  So, I was a little put off. But I'm trying new things! And it's healthy! So I asked him to make me one today, and surprise surprise...it's both filling and delish!

                                     

At around 300 calories and 30 grams of protein it's great for recovery after a long sweat-sesh and will probably be my new quickie-lunch favorite. Just, you know, served in a travel mug so I don't have to look at it.

Here's the basic recipe that T found online on  Fit2Fat2Fit's YouTube channel:

- large handful of spinach
- half a banana
- 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- spoonful of almond butter
- 1 scoop of protein powder (we used Gold Standard 100% Whey in Vanilla)
- 1 cup of ice
*Blend until smooth...disguise in colorful glassware or lidded mug...enjoy!
                                                                                                                      
Happy 2012! What are you working on this new year?

{Five Fitness Faves} 1/16/12

I clearly don't have a problem spending money, but for some reason when it comes to shelling out for fitness gear I'm more tight-fisted than Ebeneezer Scrooge at a charity event. However, there really are some great fitness tools out there that-for a few dinero-have the potential to make your workouts a little less painful and a little more fun. Trust me when I tell you, if you're a runner, hiker or a dedicated walker, these babies are worth every penny:

1. Garmin Forerunner 110 GPS/heart rate monitor: At about $230, the price tag is a little bit steep, but you get great bang for your buck! This little gizmo records pace, distance and time, while tracking your heart rate and calorie burn. I especially love the GPS feature for trails, as it's way too hard to figure out distance from those little park maps! You can also download your data to the Garmin website for analysis/mapping although I haven't used that feature. Bonus: it's available in a pink/gray girly-version!



2. The iPod Nano has to be one of the best gifts I received this Christmas. At about 1.5" square, it is ridiculously tiny and so stinkin cute! I love the full color touch screen, the built-in FM radio and Nike fitness app. But more importantly to me, this tiny MP3 clips right onto my sports bra or tank top and never gets in the way of a workout. What a great replacement for my old-school iPod with the clunky arm band! Starting at $129 at the Apple store.


3. I love the Sprint hand-held water bottle by Nathan. I'm a total mouth-breather (attractive, I know) so even on shorter runs I tend to get that annoying parched-mouth feeling. This water bottle is the perfect solution. It holds 10oz of liquid and has a one way valve for taking a quick drink without breaking your stride.  The hand strap adjusts to a couple different positions, meaning you don't have to grip anything (love it!) and the small pocket is just the right size for keys or an energy gel. www.nathansports.com for stores.



4. Travis probably uses our GoFit foam rollers more often than I do, but I will fully acknowledge they are a safe and effective way both to warm-up your muscles before a run and to stretch them out afterward. Runner's World online feature several great videos on how to get the most benefit from your foam roller.

5. I have the hardest time dipping into my wallet for good workout clothes! The way I see it, I don't look too cute when I'm breaking a sweat anyway, so why bother, right? Lucky for me, the man in my life has my back on this one and occasionally surprises me with new gym outfits. Thanks to him I've discovered that high-performance moisture-wicking materials really do make for a comfier workout.  The Heat Gear capris and semi-fitted shirts by Under Armour are my definite favorites!

What fitness gear do you love?

{Oh, The Places I'll Go....}  4/5/12

It's been quite a while since I've written any kind of fitness-related post, but I dont want you all to think I've been just sitting around on my keister. In December I posted about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). While I'm still convinced that its a crazy-efficient way to workout, it also happens to be murder on my joints. So, after a little running hiatus, during which I medicated with heavy doses of reality TV while my hips recovered (ok, so maybe there was a little sitting around on my keister) I'm back to working on what I like best: distance runs.

I don't know that I would consider myself a "runner" just yet. In fact, growing up I hated-literally despised-running. Last July, when a coworker encouraged me to sign up for Tough Mudder, I laughed. I was leading, shall we say, a sedentary lifestyle (by which I mean I was working hard to perfect my couch potato skills.) But when I tried to let Travis in on the joke, he didn't respond like I expected. He thought I should sign up. Well, that got me thinking. And, eventually, it got me running. The first couple runs saw me doubled over, sucking wind with a stitch in my side after a quarter mile. I felt like death. And I was starting to get seriously behind on important stuff like Bachelor Pad. But, as uncomfortable and sore as I felt, as I kept at it I also started to feel...good! Turns out "runner's high" isn't just some wildly exaggerated myth. Setting and reaching new distance goals kept me motivated and gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. I became a little obsessed, running 5-6 days a week. Looking back, that was probably not the smartest way to train and actually kept me from making the progress I wanted. Now I try for a more balanced approach, running two days a week and interspersing those runs with some strength training (Hellooo Brazilian Butt-Lift!) which has done wonders for my endurance. My goal now is to run 10 miles loving every step. This week I made it my farthest yet at 8.67 miles. (You better believe I'm counting those tenths and hundredths!) So I don't know if I'm a "runner" yet, but I'm getting there. And really, when you live in an area this beautiful, there's no excuse not to enjoy every mile.


We've had just a little rain recently...


Next up: master the art of running with a wine glass


I turn heads when I run!

Are you a runner? What keeps you motivated?


{Feeling Goal-able}  4/19/12

I'm so excited!

This week I finally  passed 10 miles on my long run. Now, don't get me wrong: I'm a tortoise, not a hare. It took me a full 2 hours.... I will clearly not be setting any land-speed records.
But I'm still excited to have achieved the biggest goal I've set since I started running last summer.

So now what?

I'm thinking it's time to sign up for a half-marathon!

Who's with me??

On that note, I figured it might be a good time to share a few running tips I've picked up over the last  months:

1. Run against traffic. Whether you have a comfortably large shoulder or prefer less runner-friendly country roads, if you're running on the street you should always be able to see what's coming at you so you can take evasive action if necessary.

2. Be visible. I'm always surprised at how many people I see out for a run in head to toe black. Bright colors or reflective striping make you more visible to drivers, and the more visible you are, the less likely you are to become a statistic.

3. Choose your tunes wisely. I love all kinds of music, but Andrea Bocelli's arias aren't what get me moving. Finding songs with a good beat can help you maintain your cadence and push through fatigue. Some of the current faves on my playlist: M.I.A. Paper Planes, Wiz Khalifa No Sleep, Nicki Minaj Starships, and Lupe Fiasco The Show Goes On.

4. To prevent "bonking" (depleting your glycogen stores) or developing leg cramps on a long run, you might want to consider carrying a gel or chewable energy/electrolyte replacement. Clif Shot Bloks contain both electrolytes and simple sugars and taste like candy. (Always a plus as far as I'm concerned!) Gu Roctane gel has the basics, plus aminos and caffeine for an extra energy boost. And don't forget to stay hydrated!

5. Don't neglect strength training! Weight training, and excercises like squats and lunges will strengthen and tone your muscles in a way that running can't. And stronger muscles = better runs, so it's a win-win!

Have you ever participated in a full or half marathon? Any running tips to share?? I'd love to hear!

Happy almost-Friday!

{School, Cherry Tarts & The Relay for Life}  8/20/12

Hi guys! After a little blogging slump I'm back, and feeling much cheerier. How are you all doing??

School is officially back in session! Would you believe that at my age I still get butterflies on the first day of class? I guess some things never change. But get ready guys, cause I'm pretty sure I'll be sharing all kinds of weird and wonderful physiology-related facts with you in the months to come. You lucky duckies! Any of you other bloggy ladies and gents hitting the books this semester?

This weekend I had the pleasure of taking part, for the first time ever, in the Relay for Life.  Our team was co-captained by my friend/coworker/fellow blogger Erin who did a phenomenal job organizing our booth and getting our other coworkers to show up. If you're not familiar with the Relay, check it out here. The American Cancer Society holds their 24 hour fundraising events all over the country with the goal of obliterating cancer. And who doesn't want to obliterate cancer?



I was "arrested" by the Sheriff's Department for crimes involving neon yellow shorts...

Our fundraising efforts included a bake sale at the event, for which I seriously considered purchasing my contribution at Safeway slaving over a hot stove for days and days. Ultimately, I decided to compromise with super simple, pretty much fool-proof cherry tartletts. I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but cherry pie is my idea of heaven on earth. I love me some cherry pie. Love. I'm including my recipe, in case you'd like to give it a try. Disclaimer: this is not a low-cal or low-fat dessert. And you may be tempted to consume massive quantities. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Mini's Mini Cherry Tarts

What you'll need...

For the tart parts:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups butter (softened)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl blend flour, oats, sugar and butter with a fork until you have nice, small crumbles. Set aside about 1/4 of the mixture for topping. The rest will be used to make your tart bottoms, which you can do by firmly pressing a small spoonful of mixture into each cup of an ungreased mini muffin tin. Bake for approx. 7-8 minutes, or until edges are just beginning to lightly brown. When they've cooled a bit, remove and set aside. I recommend finishing all your tart bottoms before moving on to the really easy part: the filling.


For the filling:
  • 2 cans Lite cherry pie filling (you can substitute any fruit here, but why would you want to??)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
In a saucepan over medium low heat, combine your pie filling with the cinnamon, almond extract and sugar. When the filling warms up a bit, add the cornstarch and stir, stir, stir! You don't want any weird, white lumps floating around.


Time to pop some of those tart bottoms back in the muffin tin, adding a bit of filling to each. Top with some of the remaining crumble mixture and back they go into your 350 degree oven for approx 8 minutes, or just until crumbles begin to brown.


Serve in mini muffin cups for a little flare. Finally, go for a long run. This will allow you to mentally justify eating as many of these babies as you want. Bon appetiete! Makes around 5 dozen.




Reno 911 8/20/12

I've said on this blog a time or two that one of my goals for this year has been to run a half marathon. And as of this moment, well, it hasn't happened. You know how it is... work schedule, prior obligations and that whole wedding thing have managed to sort of get in the way of signing up. Or so I've told myself. The reality probably has more to do with thegiant boulder little grain of self doubt...the voice at the back of my brain saying "you're not the greatest runner...you'll never keep up...everyone else is faster, better, more athletic..." Dumb, right? But I guess it goes back to the fear of failure I briefly mentioned here.

So at this point I haven't run my first half yet. Buuuuut, I did get to participate in the Santa Rosa Marathon last weekend...on a medical bike team. And since it turns out that marathoners are kind of badass -make that totally badass- there really wasn't much actualwork involved. Instead, we spent the morning riding the entire course, plus a few extra miles, on our Trek mountain bikes with the super fly (haha) saddlebags full of medical gear. It felt a little Reno 911, but hey, easy overtime...right?

I know what you're thinking: that bike helmet and lapel mic are sooo sexy. So flattering. So...oh...that's not what you
were thinking?? Eh, it's ok. Dork-wear is a hazard of the job.
Aside from getting a fabulous workout, the experience of being at the marathon was pretty enlightening. I mean, it wasn't hundreds of the most elite athletes that showed up for this thing. (Although there were some...fastest marathon time: 2:40. So...yeah.) But there were literally people competing of every possible shape, size and fitness level. And age. At mile 17 we passed the absolute cutest little old man, who looked to be about 80 and was just chugging along. Put me to shame, I tell you! I mean, if an 80 year old can get out there and go for it, it kind of throws all the excuses my healthy 35 year old butt can make right out the window. Talk about a serious motivator! 


Not your average mud-run...   8/24/12

Kids are lucky. For a lot of reasons, really, but one in particular I've been thinking about recently. As kids we constantly face and overcome challenges showing  how cool we are:  getting an A on a tough spelling test. Learning to tie our shoes. Kicking an amazing soccer goal. Remembering to do all our chores. There are literally a never-ending supply of moments where kids get to be rock-your-socks-off awesome. And then we grow up, life becomes a little more of a grind, and those moments of being the best become rare, precious things. Unless we're really, really lucky, no one tells us how badass we are for putting in a 12 hour work day, doing the laundry, the grocery shopping or any of the other mundane necessities that keep our lives running smoothly. It's kind of sad if you think about it! We all still have that awsomeness inside, but as adults we have to look for special opportunites and work so much harder to feel it...to get the kind of validation kids take for granted. That, my friends, is one of my favorite things about Tough Mudder: it takes you right out of the daily grind and lets you be awesome again.

Mud runs are getting to be pretty darn popular these days, so there's a good chance you've already heard about Tough Mudder (I mentioned it briefly last year in a post here) or maybe you've even done it yourself! If so, I raise my orange headband in salute (and would love to hear about your experience!) If not, well then...let me just tell you! First of all,Tough Mudder is not your typical mud-run. Averaging 10-12 miles (13 last year at the Squaw Valley event) and  including 25 or so military-inspired obstacles (including plenty of...you guessed it...mud) for most of us it's not about winning. It's about the comaraderie, overcoming obstacles through teamwork and pushing past your pain (cuts, scrapes, bruises, aching muscles) and your fear (heights? dark, enclosed spaces? hypothermia-inducing, ice-cold water? Yep. I'm pretty much scared of them all...and well, TM has them all) to complete the course. And when you finish, when your determination pays off -no matter how long it takes- you get a chance to relive that magical feeling you got when you were a kid, a chance to say, "Holy crap! I am awesome!"

This past weekend I participated in my second Mudder event, teamed up with some of the same folks from last year as well as a few new faces...


Meet the Muddy Badgers (my neon yellow shorts didn't stay that way for long...)

The first of the NorCal events was held at the Tahoe Northstar resort. Logistically, it was as well-organized as last year, from parking to registration to the water/banana/Sharkies stations along the course. And costumes were even better: lots of tutus, super heroes, guys in underoos (remember those?? I had to crawl through the Boa Constrictor behind one...eek!), gladiators, hula dancers and one very brave girl wearing nothing but strategically placed duct tape and a hard hat. At a mere 11 miles, the course itself was a bit shorter than Squaw Valley but no less of a good time. And with the added benefit that I could actually walk the next day. They changed up some of the obstacles to keep things fresh, adding a second electro-shock obstacle (I got away with only 2 shocks...others werenot so lucky) and keeping Walk the Plank (my least fave since it incorporates heights andice-cold water.)

It took our team over 4 hours to complete the entire race, but there is nothing like that feeling at the end when you are drenched in sweat and mud and they hand you your orange headband and an ice-cold beer that tastes like victory...

Of course if you're me, one ice-cold beer on an empty stomach is enough to cause the kind of buzz that promptly makes you jump on the wrong parking shuttle and take a 20 minute ride to nowhere. But I digress.



Where was I? Oh yes. Added to all the fun, I think you may be interested in knowing that Tough Mudder has donated over 3 million dollars to the very-worthy Wounded Warrior Project over the last 2 years, which means...ladies and gentlemen...I think we have ourselves a winner!

Okay, have I convinced you to sign up yet?? Cause chances are good that big Mudder will be visiting your state this year. If you need a little more persuading, check out the Official NorCal 2011 video here... and see exactly what I'm talking about. Then get yourself registered!

And remember... "If you have to sign a Death Waiver, it's probably worth doing!"


Somethin about Fall 11/21/12

There's just something about this time of year.
The cold weather.
The comfort foods (homemade roasted cauliflower and cheddar soup...mmm)
The baked goods everywhere
The endless wardrobe layering possibilites...sweaters, blazers, cute little jackets...
It all adds up to me feeling like I can overindulge. Pretty much constantly.
And it's so easy to ignore the exercise that I should be doing and curl up by the fire with warm chocolate chip cookies...
Nobody's going to notice a few extra pounds under my tank/tee/sweater/scarf combo...right?

At the end of October I ran my first half-marathon (the very small, very local Cloverdale Harvest Half, as a matter of fact.) That was a big goal for me! My longest run up to that point maxed out at 10 miles, and this particular race course was slightly mis-measured for a total of 13.6. Fortunately, they were beautiful miles: along a creek, and through trees and vineyards as the sun rose. The experience was exhausting, exhilirating, exciting. Not exciting in a "I kicked this half-marathon's butt" kinda way, but more like, "I made it, I didn't give up and that totally rocks." The ever-supportive hubby took a few pics along the course from which I learned that I am possibly the most ridiculous looking runner on the planet. I'll save the worst for later, in case I decide to do another 'awkward photo' post...




As fabulous as the race-experience was, can you guess what I've been doing for exercise since then? How many great runs I've gone on? Nothing and none, respectively. (Reference beginning of blog post.) But I think I'm ready to jump back on the fitness-wagon. It's cheaper than buying bigger clothes, ya know? To that end I've downloaded a training program from Runner's World called "Break your 2:30 Half Marathon." Which I'm planning to start next week. I know, I know...but it's Thanksgiving you guys, and the mashed potatoes and sourdough rolls are literally calling my name. Anyhow...

Wish me luck? 
Are you staying in shape for the holidays?


Get it where you can 1/9/13

Motivation, that is. Since Im currently in the process of jumpstarting my fitness/healthy eating I need a lot of whatever motivation I can get. As one of my supervisors likes to say, time to "realign expectations."

I've decided to get my focus back on running (of course, my go-to), yoga on my off days, and possibly trying something new called TRX which uses some weird strap things + that pizza you ate last night your own body weight to build strength. (Travis informs me that I could take a TRX class at our gym. I prefer not to highlight my awkwardness/complete lack of coordination in groups where everyone is sober...sooo I think we'll order the starter kit.)

Ok, where were we? Oh right. Motivation. In order of most to least petty, here are the three things getting me up off the couch lately:

3. Someone at work bragging about being able to run a mile. I heard that and I got some attitude. In my head I was all Biotch, I can do 10 times that. I just have to put down this icecream. And the remote. And dig my Nike's out of the abyss of my closet. Seriously though, hearing other people boast about their fitness accomplishments gets me crazy motivated. Must be that competitive streak.

2. My jeans don't fit. I've actually graduated from my fave skinny jeans to some older and slightly larger pairs. And I still have a muffin top that would make a Cupcake Wars contender jealy. At this rate Ill be back in my circa 1999 flare legs (from my...er...chunkier days) before you can say brownie sundae with extra hot fudge sauce. And it just so happens there are approximately 31564 things I'd rather spend my money on than new fat jeans. Exercise it is.

3. Ok, finally: one altruistic motive just to balance things out. This year I've signed up with a group of people running the Santa Rosa half marathon to raise money for the families of servicemen/women wounded or killed in action. At my brothers request, I'm proud to be running in memory of a Marine named Juan who was killed in Iraq when they served together there in 2004. I did some research, and ugly-cried reading his story. (I'll share more on that later, but you may want to have some tissues handy.) In any case, I plan to kick ass for Juan and that is the best motivator ever.

What motivates you??



Am I skinny yet?? 2/2/13

Guess who got a little reality check this week?
Yep.
This girl. 
Don't you hate that? 
Me too. 
Especially when the reality check involves stepping on the bathroom scale for the first time in months and discovering my fat cells have multiplied like Duggars I somehow gained 10 lbs over the holiday season. Say what?? I didn't realize I was storing quite so much...er...extra junk in my trunk. And now that I know, I can't exactly un-know. So clearly I was going to need a diet of some sort. Dammit. 



Coincidentally, right about the time I was mulling over my chubby-woes I happened across an article in Women's Health about the 8-Hour Diet. I was immediately intrigued (who wouldn't be with a name like that?!) and downloaded the eBook for my Kindle . Basically, to keep it short and sweet, 8 Hour Diet is about the concept of intermittent fasting. There are a few ways you can go about something like that, but the book's author David Zinczenko recommends limiting your eating to 8 hours a day, fasting the other 16, and doing this at least 3 days a week. Intermittent fasting is supposed to give you all kinds of health benefits like lowering your risk of diabetes by regulating insulin levels, increasing energy and mental alertness and -most importantly, hello!- burning tons of fat. Now, I have to admit I'm pretty skeptical about anything that seems like a weird, fringy, fad diet but this book sites enough research by the National Institute of Health and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies that I was convinced of the legit-ness and decided to give it a try. 

For week 1, I actually found it super easy to move all my meals into the 8 hour window. I was kind of shocked at how much better I felt just by skipping breakfast and not pigging out in the middle of the night after work. My cravings for sweets went way down , I had more energy, and I didn't notice any of the insulin spikes and drops I usually deal with throughout the day. So that was awesome. 




Buuut, here's where I ran into a little bit of a problem and got reality check #2:  Zinczenko claims several times in his book that you can eat whatever you want during your 8 hour period and you will still lose weight. So of course I was like, what? I can eat 3 bowls of Fruity Pebbles for lunch and lose weight?? Finally! But no. I'm calling bullshit on that one. Because I went on the 8 Hour Diet and I gained a damned pound. Fruity Pebbles do not equal weight loss. Even if you eat them for lunch instead of breakfast.




So this week I'll be continuing my 8-Hour Diet adventure with some modifications. Like no more sugared cereal. And no more bread binges. I have a feeling that if I combine intermittent fasting with actual healthy eating I'll be on  track to getting rid of that cookie-party on my backside. We'll see how it goes!

Have you tried any special diets? What works for you?











3 comments:

  1. Hey Jenn,

    Welcome to blog world! I found your blog looking for other runners. I used to do adventure racing, which is similar to these Mudder races.

    If you get a chance, stop by my blog and say hello.

    Ken

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  2. Thanks Ken! I have a feeling I'll be able to find some good fitness tips on your blog :-)

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  3. OMG. Running in dark colors at night. One of my BIGGEST pet peeves. Or, can it be a pet peeve if it's like, life-threateningly dangerous? Eh.

    I briefly dated a guy who was in law enforcement last year (um.... whole new level of sexy, but you already know that) and when he used to be a state trooper, responded to a pedestrian/car situation. Some lady was killed by a car. Her family was all upset (as they should be), but mad at him for not ticketing or charging the driver with anything. Okay. She was on a bike, with no reflectors, in the middle of the night, wearing all black, on a back country road with no shoulder or any street lights. I mean, it's sad, but it's not like she was trying to be seen.

    SERIOUSLY people!

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    Gayle | Grace for Gayle

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