PhotobucketI am honored to say that I received a private message from one of my readers asking for tips on breaking into running. She is an avid walker but can’t seem to take herself to the next level and wanted advice.

I wouldn’t qualify myself as a runner per se. I do jog, and can jog about 2-3 miles (very slow pace here) at a time, but it’s taken me a long time to get there, and I’m still not where I’d like to be. However, I can tell you what I’ve done to get to where I’m at currently.

I started by running intervals–which I still do a lot of. The Couch to 5k plan is a very popular one for teaching you to train in intervals. The idea is that you simply start out by walking, and slowly work in jogging spurts–focusing on time not distance–until your body is ready for more. This article from WedMD refers to it as wogging. Basically it’s a gentle way to push your body’s limits over time. You’ll slowly start to walk less and jog more, until you can jog consistently.

As I said at the beginning, though, I’m still not where I’d like to be in terms of my abilities to run. I tend to reach a mental block and stop even when I know my body is capable of more.  I actually have a plan to consult a higher power (think personal trainer, not gods) in the near future to see if I can’t make a runner out of myself, and I also think I need new shoes–but that’ll be a different post.

The most important thing when trying to make the transition to running is to pay attention to your body. If you push yourself too far too fast you’ll end up with injuries or burn yourself out. Just take it slow and be patient with yourself. If you consistently run intervals for a couple of weeks I think you’ll be surprised by just how quickly your body will adjust.

Neat Website: TwoFoods

February 28, 2012

PhotobucketIf you ever want to quickly compare options on two things you’re considering for a snack this is a great website. You literally just enter the two foods and get an instant side-by-side on their nutritional values. Not only is this the newest addition to my blogroll, but I’ve also bookmarked it on my work and home computers. This makes my lunchtime decision making a bit easier–even if I want to cheat, I can still pick the lesser of two evils.

New Love: Body Con Skirts

February 28, 2012

PhotobucketOver the weekend I found myself feeling better (after last week’s brush with death) and with some time to kill, so I decided to try my luck shopping. Now, I’ve posted about shopping many many times before, and would like to again reiterate that buying yourself new clothes while losing weight is very important. It’s very exciting to put on your jeans and find that you have extra room, but if you keep wearing clothes that are too big you start to feel frumpy and actually hide the progress you’ve made. Side note: pants are effing expensive and also impractical if your body is in a constant state of flux.

Cut to my new favorite item of clothing in the world: body con skirts. They’re called this because they contour to your body, but most importantly they are cheap, flattering tubes of stretchy fabric that are comfortable AND will fit for a long time. If you sew you can whip these up with a few simple seams. But, even if you don’t you can find them EVERYWHERE (Forever21, Charlotte Russe, Target, Wetseal) for about $10-12 a piece.

I bought my first body con skirt last summer and despite being probably 20lbs less now, it still fits and flatters just like the day I got it. Plus, as I continue to lose inches, it won’t be too difficult to take-in at the sides. I’ve been wearing this skirt 3-4 times a week, with tights for winter, both to work and out with friends, and it is so comfortable–I ended up buying three more this weekend. They are easy to dress up with a button-up blouse or a sweater, or to dress down with a more revealing tank top (and if you pass out drunk in them they are fairly comfortable to sleep in as well–not that I’ve ever done this or recommend passing out on couches while watching Netflix at 5am).

So, if you’re in the market for weight loss friendly clothing, strike while the body con skirts are hot. There are few things as affordable and flattering.

2012 Academy Awards

February 27, 2012

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Oscars 2012 and 2010

I’m foregoing my usual Measurement Monday post this week for two reasons, one: I didn’t actually measure myself this morning, so I don’t have any new content to post, and two: I have something much better!

Two years ago my friend Carina started a tradition (one she had done herself as a kid) of dressing up in bed sheets, as dresses, we call them “sheet dresses” and watching the Oscars. We did it back in 2010, right before I started this blog, and we did it again this year. I was surprised when I looked up the old photos and saw how different I now look.

Unfortunately, I wouldn’t allow any full body shots back in 2010, but still my face and forearm are visibly slimmer. Not that health is the theme of this tradition: I pretty much downed an entire bottle of champagne last night, but it’s still fun to see the changes. And, just because I love my friends, here are some other photos from the night!
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Dia de los (Un)Muertos

February 24, 2012

PhotobucketBasically, I’m not dead.

Although, yesterday I pretty much felt like it was imminent. I’m starting to feel like this blog simply serves as an example of “what not to do”. Or, as Sam once said about me: “Some people have to touch the stove twice.” My birthday celebration was no exception. If you decide to go to an all-night dance function, in an abandoned warehouse, without heat, and use port-a-potties without hand sanitizer available, your immune system WILL drop. Germlets WILL get all up in your mucus membranes. You WILL get sick. Luckily, (I suppose) I have a bacteria and not a virus, so a days worth of antibiotics has me feeling nearly human again.

Since I missed a few days of work this week, my weekend will consist of …work. Also, I plan to get outside and walk my usual running paths (five miles tonight, and five tomorrow), and hopefully be running again by Sunday. I didn’t allow myself to completely fall off my diet due to sickness, and because my throat was hurting so badly, I actually ate less than usual–oddly a silver lining.

But, I absolve that this is a sign I need to take better care of myself. Set-backs this early in training aren’t going to do too much damage, but I can’t keep staying out all night and partying with friends just because it sounds fun. I have bigger fish to fry. Dancing for one night can impact an entire week’s worth of training. I highly doubt I’ll be thinking about how awesome my birthday party was when I’m blowing my quads out at Hood to Coast this summer. Anyway, cheers to the weekend and also cheers to having my health. I always take it for granted until I realize how miserable life is without it.

Olga’s 50-day Goal

February 22, 2012

PhotobucketI met Olga in college back in… 2005 or 2006… maybe(?)… at a party. We never really spent much time together but being of similar personality and tastes she has stayed on my radar (through Facebook) all of these years. Right now she has just set out on her own fitness journey and is blogging about a 50-day challenge she has set for herself.

She says it best in her first post:

Anyone who’s been overweight knows what I’m going through right now.  You see an event in the future that you’d really like to look slimmer for and you set crazy goals to be thinner by then.  Maybe you even start out well by getting back to the gym and starting a restrictive diet.  But most of you know that this doesn’t last long.  The date of the event gets closer and closer and you just keep starting over, each time with more frustration.

Which inspires me to pick a future goal and start a daily countdown as well. Nothing like an event to provide real motivation, and even if you don’t make it all the way to your goal, you’re better off than when you started. I’m adding Olga’s blog to my blogroll and I encourage you to follow it and see her progress. Great work so far lady and I’m excited to see where this challenge takes you in the future!

Best Workouts at your Desk

February 21, 2012

PhotobucketI mentioned yesterday that I was feeling a bit under the weather after my birthday celebration. Turns out my gift to myself was some flu like virus–HAPPY BIRTHDAY. So, I’m taking Nyquil and sleeping all day today in hopes that I’ll be able to return to work tomorrow. Until then, here is a article from Forbes.com on the best exercises you can do at work, right at your desk. I’m posting this as a follow up to the post I made last week about sitting all day. One of my coworkers actually approached me concerned because he had read that post and was experiencing back pain. There is hope for you yet Dave!

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