Tag Archives: exercise

Hilarious Analogy on how we beat ourselves up

WhatExerciseIsAbout I just did it today.  I was home last night reading an awesome book, (check back in for that forthcoming book review!) – and overindulging in some delicious Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered almonds, chocolate cookies, & some croissant.  My justification whilst said indulgence was taking place was that I would be running 12 miles the next morning and so, “eh-go fer it!”  This, in essence, however, is symptomatic of what a Greatist article describes as self-abuse.  Check it out.
Jeanette Beating Herself Up
Jeanette Beating Herself Up
As the custodian for your body, you’re responsible for its care—just like you’d be responsible for a child that you’re babysitting. Imagine finding this kid knee-deep in candy bar wrappers, halfway into an all-out candy binge. Caught red-handed, this kid looks up at you, terrified, ashamed, awaiting punishment. What do you do? Do you yell insults at the child? March him or her over to the treadmill to run off every last calorie? Of course not. You’re not Mommie Dearest. With that in mind, let any name calling and punishment stop. You will treat yourself with the same compassion you would treat this child.
This is so exactly what I have always done and am getting better at not doing to myself.  I indulge and immediately go over the most rigorous form of calorie-torching physical activity that I can afford to “erase the evidence.”  Only when I’ve completed my self-inflicted torchure do I feel relieved and redeemed and like I can start on a clean slate.  People, I don’t work out because I enjoy it.  Honestly, it’s not for the high or joy of it – it’s for the elusive goal of achieving body perfection.  I’m still workin’ on it – there will be a huge blog post about it when that happens, but don’t wait by your inboxes.  I say that to demonstrate that I’ve always been in a  bad eater/ over exerciser vicious cycle that this article described to a T.
It can be easy, post-gluttony, to beat yourself up. Things like “no self-control,“ “lazy,” and “gross” can get thrown around. Maybe you run five miles and end up making yourself sick. Or swear off eating for an entire day. It’s super easy to treat your body to all types of abuse post-gorgefest, but here’s where taking a step outside yourself is critical.
I’ve evolved though, and am happy to report that I am in the driver’s seat with my eating, compared to confused and out-of-control eating in the past.  I also indulge with pleasure, versus feeling guilty during and especially after indulgences in the past.  And while I still derive a twisted sense of satisfaction in “working off an indulgence,” I think there is a certain level of healthy balance in that behavior.  I’m  much more at peace, aware, knowledgeable, and in control of my diet than ever before, but this article certainly offered me a spot-on illustration that inspired this post. Read the full article

the Secret to Weight Loss:

Eat very little.

I betcha didn’t want to hear that, did you?!  Well, from someone who has tried it all, eating less is what works and since that’s still unpracticed by so many, it might as well be some secret.  We are very good at creating our own realities.  We employ selective hearing, selective memory, we seek out the answers that we want to hear, we retain information that supports our case, and we are just very very clever at deceiving ourselves.

As a woman, as a trainer, and as an actress, I exist in a cross-section of society that can wreak havoc one’s body image.  I have also had the opportunity to hear it all in matters of the body.  And let me confirm what you are already suspicious of.  Everyone is trying to change their shape: pinch it in, flatten it out, elongate it, bulk it up, keep it up, take it away, you name it, it’s been scrutinized over.

In the midst of this seemingly never-ending strive for the perfect form, however, I, thank God, received a refreshing perspective on it all!  A recent visit to a nutritionist gave me a simple, reasonable, and no monkey-business assessment and game plan!  Going in, I was the typical frustrated diet-er, armed with excuses and baggage: I believed my metabolism was on the downspiral that everyone says accompanies aging; I believed that as a fitness instructor that teaches 4 times a week, I had leeway to eat without counting; I believed that I had truly uncontrollable snacking urges that sometimes erupted in binges and that I shouldn’t subjected to the repercussions; I believed that disciplining myself from all sweeteners and sodium and eating organic should count for something and that I should have been reaping the rewards!  Boy did I get a wake up call!

Right off the bat, Lisa rejected the proverbial metabolism excuse, citing the reality that our decrease in metabolism is minute and almost negligible.  She later proved it with a test.  She taught me that my calorie burn needn’t be added back into my diet.  The few hundred calories shed during a workout is better off left as a bonus and my body is not going to miss that extra energy.  She left me with a simple number: 1100.  That’s how many calories my body burns at rest and that’s all I really need.  Out the window with the “never eat less than 1200 calorie” rule.

Most refreshing from my visit with Lisa was the realization that this is not rocket science.  There are no bizarre rules regarding carbs, snacks, eating times, etc.  Common sense and calorie-tracking is all that was asked of me.  And a change in body is everything that was promised to me!   It’s so simple that I almost believe we make things more complicated just to have an excuse to wag our finger at later.  If everyone committed to the reality of how much they needed to eat, didn’t add in undeserving calories, saw through the outlandish gimmicks, and just kept it real, they would undoubtedly experience a slimmer existence.  I’ll keep you posted…hopefully with pictures soon!

13.1 miles behind me…the world before me!

A month ago, I said to myself, “I need to do something to change my body” (This may have marked the 100th time that I have said this!). But nevertheless, my strategy this time was going to be running…not running on the treadmill for 30 minutes, but something different, something perhaps more involved, almost like a sport. And so, I signed up for two NYC half-marathons, set one month apart. I had never run more than 6 miles…and those were not all-out runs. This was going to be new ground being broken, but I never let that stop me. I figured, “how hard can it be to continue moving one foot in front of the other once I reach the mileage that I usually clock?” And so, I started running with the Nike running club, quickly learned that I was quite an impressive runner (that’s what they said!), became savvier on the technical aspects of running (clocking mileage, time, pace, etc), and learned exactly what the right type of sneaker was for me (a structured sneaker with cushioning). I ran 10 miles on each of my three Saturdays with the club. The fourth Saturday was the half-marathon. I rose at 4:30am in order to get to the starting line at 7am. It was insane. I had only slept for 2 hours the night before. And not only did I not sleep, but I also chose to munch all night! I was a mess that morning: bloated, tired, and feeling far from ready. Nevertheless, I had too much invested to do anything less than complete what I had started. It was going to be a learning experience: learning how much I could do in such a screwed up situation. The next few hours were just as messy. In short, the New York Road Runners had done a pathetic job of organizing transportation for the runners to the starting line. There we all were, clad in sneakers and Underarmour, dressed to take on the road, with no where to go. A line of runners, three blocks long, waited listlessly as the 7am start time crept closer. It wasn’t until 6:55am that I stepped onto the bus and 15 minutes later, we saw the race well underway as runners sped past us at the 2 mile mark. The bus driver idiotically dropped us off at the 2 mile mark and we were abandoned with the sole solution to WALK TWO MILES to the starting line! As Tamara (my fellow pissed off runner) and I walked in disbelief, we half-joked, half-cried about the surreal scenario that had unfolded over the past two hours. At 8am, a full hour late, she and I stood at our starting positions and off we went. It was strange, running the race with one person beside me…not much of a race atmosphere, if you know what I mean. I soon learned, however, that a race is truly a race against yourself; it’s your own time to reach your own goals; it’s very much an individual sport. And so, I didn’t mind when Tamara ran ahead of me. Here’s how the following 90 minutes transpired. At mile 2.5, I was ready to give up. I had all the excuses to justify quitting and I was ready to allow myself to throw in the towel. Half a mile later, I came up on the 3-mile marker, grabbed a cup of Gatorade, and walked. As I walked, I recovered physically and mentally. I looked at my watch and realized that I had a fighting chance to redeem myself. I threw away my cup and started running again. I started passing people, always looking to the next person ahead each time to establish a short term goal. I passed the 4 mile marker, then 5, then 6, then 7, and it was coming easily. I was watching my watch closely and committing myself to stay at an 8 minute-mile pace…I would never forgive myself if I ran much slower than that. (Two years ago, I ran a 6-mile race at a 7:38 pace). And hang on to the pace I did, passing more mile markers, passing more runners, throwing more cups of Gatorade down my throat, loving each child, cop and spectator who cheered as I ran past, and discovering that I was reaching my goal, stride by stride. At the 10 mile mark, my feet started hurting, but I forged on, determined to finish without losing my pace, promising myself a frozen yogurt when it was all over. I was ecstatic as I passed the 11 and 12 mile markers still within my desired pace! I passed the 13 mile mark, ready to celebrate and quickly realized that there was .1 miles to go! (fun fact: a marathon is actually 26.2 miles!) And so, .1 miles later, it was all over and I grabbed a Gatorade, french toast bagel, and a plum. I walked around, stretched, and just relished in the fact that I had “done it.” I have to admit that I am proud of myself. Like Forest Gump, I just kept “going and going and going.” And you all know how much we love Forest! The only downside now is, “Where’s the six-pack that is supposed to come with all this work?!” Maybe next week I have to run 18 miles to start seeing it. Stay posted and enjoy the visuals I captured of this amazing experience!  http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=111279&id=686433068&saved