Fitness Friday Update!

We’re 11 days into the New Year – how are all of your resolutions and goals holding up? As I mentioned on Monday, I started the year with a major case of the blah’s as related to tracking my training/goals/resolutions. I guess you could say I resolved to not resolve anymore. Wait, what?

I’ve got a lot of different health and fitness focuses at the moment, some new and some old. I haven’t pitched any of the focuses, I’ve just really let go of the need to obsess over each training run and every meal I have. Sometimes tracking is helpful, but something was telling me to put down the excel sheet and food journal and just enjoy the process.

Like many of you, I’m focused on cardio, strength and an eating plan to prep for some spring time races and other fitness commitments.

So, what/how am I doing?

First off, half marathon training. Things are going well and runs have been happening. I’ve deviated somewhat significantly from my original plan 1) due to illness over the holidays and 2) because it felt burdensome. I’m in it to enjoy it, not to win it. So if my 5 mile run turns into 3 with friends, or a 7 mile long run includes a few significant walk breaks, it’s all good in the hood.

I’m more concerned about my costume at this point! 🙂 I’m building the entire race outfit around the fact that I want to wear my purple Pro Compression socks for the race and purple princesses are somewhat limited. Rapunzel may happen.

Rapunzel Inspiration via

Oh, and I guess I could mention here how far I’ve come on my 1,000 mile running goal. 93. But who’s counting right?

The second big thing right now is Best Body Bootcamp Round 4. Y’all know my love for bootcamp and I am so excited that we’re back at it. The first three workouts have already been killer and I’m happy to be back in squatting form.

One interesting tidbit here is that we started this bootcamp with a fit test so we can track progress over the 8 week program. My starting stats were pretty good (definitely have some room for improvement, but I’m happy!):

Wall sit: 75 seconds

Elbow plank: 65 seconds

Toe pushups: 14 (say whaaat?)

72 jumping jacks in 1 minute

9 minute mile running outside

Okay and now for the diet. I mentioned I’m on this crazy allergen-free diet for a couple of weeks (otherwise known as the “virgin diet”). I don’t normally diet to lose weight and I’m not now either. I decided to try this out because some of my family members have had success going gluten and dairy-free and I’d like to remove/avoid some of the same symptoms they have had – migraines, tummy trouble, weight gain/fluctuation, etc. I personally get anxiety/panic attacks from time to time (since I was young) and have been told a hidden gluten intolerance can be the cause of those as well.

For the last week (and the next two), my diet is completely free of (you ready for the list?) – gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, eggs, corn, and sugar. Pretty much anything processed, made in a factory or with additives isn’t making it into my mouth.

It actually hasn’t been too hard for me, since I avoided many of these foods as a part of my normal, whole-food eating style, but the biggest changes for me have been the gluten, dairy and the eggs. There goes my daily whey protein and kefir smoothies, along with eggs and Ezekiel toast for dinner. I’d go through a carton of eggs a week and bought 2 kefir bottles at a time to feed the machine.

For those very important components to my diet, I’ve substituted rice milk, coconut milk and hemp protein. Luckily there are lots of lactose-free options and now I’m on the search for coconut milk kefir! 🙂 I haven’t “substituted” anything for the eggs (and I miss them!), but I have been eating more chicken and turkey as a result of the diet. Gluten is a whole other story and to be honest, I haven’t really dived in to the whole gluten-free world yet. I’ve been sticking to oats, brown & wild rice and potatoes for my starches.

I’ve noticed a few things this week – less cravings, more focus, and enough energy to sustain my near-daily workouts. I haven’t yet discovered a happier tummy, but they say it takes 3 weeks for your body to get rid of all of the allergens, so perhaps next week I’ll be able to report some results there. Oh, and I’ve lost a couple pounds (definitely not 7, as the cover of the book proclaims). Not sure I like that too much, but as long as I have energy and can build muscle, it’s all good.

I hope you all are off to a great start in 2013. The biggest advice (that I’m trying to take myself) is DON’T STRESS! Enjoy every moment of what you’ve chosen to do. Your body, heart and head will love you for it.


11 thoughts on “Fitness Friday Update!

  1. I am going to assume that you have read The China Study based upon this excerpt from your post, “For the last week (and the next two), my diet is completely free of (you ready for the list?) – gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, eggs, corn, and sugar. Pretty much anything processed, made in a factory or with additives isn’t making it into my mouth.” Good decision.

    Also, with regard to any long distance running – I’ll preface this by saying I am a reformed runner – my suggestion is that you replace it with another cardio activity. Actually, “Cardio” has become so popular we have accepted the term as a synonym for exercise for your heart. This unfortunate misnomer is worse than a waste of your time. It only takes you further from your natural challenges and aggravates the problem. It’s not natural to repeat the same movement continuously 10,000 times over without variation or rest. It will not build heart health and does not correct for what we are lacking.

    Heart attacks don’t occur because of a lack of endurance.They occur when there is a sudden increase in cardiac demand that exceeds your heart’s capacity. Giving up your heart’s reserve capacity to adapt to unnatural bouts of continuous prolonged duration only increases your risk of sudden cardiac death. A ground-breaking study of long-distance runners showed that after a workout, the blood levels and oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides increased. They also found that prolonged running disrupted the balance of blood thinners and thickeners, elevating inflammatory factors and clotting levels – both signs of heart distress. And it’s bad for your bones too. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that long-distance runners had reduced bone mass. This is
    true for both men and women – although women had an increased risk for osteoporosis as well.

    If you are interested in learning more, I will send you a PDF file, that not only explains in more detail what I have said above, but provides an exercise program developed by Dr. Al Sears, M.D. (google him) and his PACE program. My email is . . . Indicate PACE and WordPress in the subject line, in case your email goes to my spam folder initially. Take care . . . Steve

    • Wow, thanks for the thoughtful reply Steve! For the last few years I’ve avoided most non-whole foods, but haven’t been too stringent with eating out or at other people’s homes. Going completely free is a whole new experience!

      As for running, I completely agree with a balanced, multi-sport approach to fitness. I have trained and competed in triathlons, study and practice yoga and do many other “cross-training” activities like strength sessions, hiking, swimming, biking, kayaking… you get the point!

      All that said, I do enjoy running and will keep those “long” runs in rotation. My 13.1 miles is measly compared to some of those ultra runners. I’d be curious, as a “reformed runner” as you put it – what are your favorite ways to stay active?

      Stay well!

      • Background: I played competitive sports in high school. I also played in table tennis leagues and continued doing that in Europe (once going against the number 2 ranked player in Great Britain . . . yes, he kicked my ass, but I could hit with him). I also won a body building competition in Cancun, Mexico, when I was 45.

        Today, I am 57 years old. Yes, my avatar is up to date (grin) . . . Picture taken last year at a Giants game in San Francisco. Moreover, all the pictures I’ve posted of me on my blog site are relatively recent as well. That being said, Up until a couple of years ago, I could walk on my hands; however, a shoulder injury (2 torn rotator cuff tendons and a ruptured bicep) while mountain climbing in Canada cured me of that. HAHA. I have rehabbed it and am still able to do handstand pushups, but walking on my hands is out. Ironically, I was quite grateful to have fallen off a mountain and “only” damaged my shoulder and arm, i.e., it could have been my legs, back . . . or worse, death.

        So, the aforementioned event sort of gave me a “forewarned and forearmed” attitude about what I now do and what I will no longer do. In short, absolutely everyone has a certain mileage on their “life” odometer and the parts will wear down, break down, and fail permanently. Consequently, I will still run occasionally, but only on a treadmill, where the impact is minimal and no longer than 30-45 minutes. However, most of my “cardio” type activities day to day, involve an elliptical and on weekends, hikes of various difficulties. Once in a blue moon, I will climb/hike a 14ner. What else? I was married to an amateur champion downhill skier, so she taught me everything I know about skiing . . . A few years before our divorce, I consistently beat her down the slopes, albeit, not with the grace and elan she displayed. I often joke that I would have killed myself if I had stayed married to her for any longer than I did. Grin. However, I digress – when I do ski, I no longer go fast and am in control ALWAYS.

        So, typically at a gym, I work out for 45-60 minutes a day, five times a week, alternating 2 sessions of aerobic/cardio type activities and 3 sessions of anaerobic weight lifting type activities. Each of those five days, I do core/ab work, much of it with a fit ball.

        That’s my story and I am sticking to it . . . Steve 🙂

      • By the by, the “13.1 miles is measly compared to some of those ultra runners” only because you (I assume) have not been injured yet, nor have chronic problems with your joints, muscles, etc. I had NEVER been injured in my life up until a few years ago (mountain mishap I told you about); however, I hit a “wall” quite a few years earlier Mary, when I turned 50 years old. I couldn’t increase my fitness, despite trying a number of different exercise regimens/programs, supplements, and diets. Equally important – as well as being a red flag – I started to have issues with my joints . . . Fortunately, I paid attention, knowing that my body was “talking” to me. Today, I have no problems because I am circumspect about what I will and will not do.

  2. I’m not a “princess” kinda girl, but that tank is adorable! Your race is going to be so much fun!

    I’m a vegetarian, and have cut out all dairy just recently from my diet. With the exception of a few meals I wasn’t aware contained cheese or cream until after I ate them, I’ve been dairy free for 3 months now. I have to be honest – I don’t see a change. Maybe I will down the road, but for now…same ol’ same ol’. Weird, huh?

    I am SUPER excited for #BestBodyBootcamp, also! Tina’s new additions are awesome!

  3. Pingback: Friday Fitness (and food) Update! | oh, to have the world on a string

  4. Pingback: Best Body Bootcamp Results | oh, to have the world on a string

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