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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

10 Things I Learned in 2010

1. Cigarettes are not a substitute for food. Well actually they are, but I have to keep reminding myself that I don't smoke anymore. In 2011 I will stop claiming smoking doesn't count when I am drunk. In 2011 I will stop claiming a lot of things don't count when I am drunk.

2. A serving of peanut butter is 2 tablespoons. Two tablespoons of peanut butter barely covers a quarter of an apple in my book. That's why I like to eat 4 tablespoons of Better'n Peanut Butter instead.

3. It is completely possible to gain 10 lbs in 2 weeks. Sadly, it is extremely difficult to lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks. This may be the definition of irony.

4. You should never drink until 4am the night (morning) before a 10K. Some people might find this obvious. I, however, did not.

5. The calorie counters on cardio machines grossly overcalculate the number of calories burned. Buy a heart rate monitor.

6. Do not agree to date a person that compliments your form in spin class. You will have to change gym locations.

7. Gyms do not clean yoga mats daily. Scabies can be transmitted through yoga mats. Once your skin stops crawling, you should go out and buy a mat immediately. Make sure it's wrapped in plastic.

8. Even rigorous sexual activity does not burn a significant amount of calories to be considered your daily cardio. This was heartbreaking.

9. Running uptown on the East River Esplanade is superior to running downtown. This actually only applies if you live in the 70s or above, but it was mindblowing for me. I used to live in Murray Hill and running downtown was pretty much the only option.

10. People actually read this blog. Who knew?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Best Christmas Ever?

This post has nothing to do with fitness, but it does describe some of the out of our minds behavior exhibited by my family during our Christmas vacation.

Christmas Eve began with my sister and I singing the Twelve Days of Christmas at LaGuardia's curbside check-in. We switched to Feliz Navidad at Chicago-O'Hare. We had progressed through half of our Christmas tune repertoire before I located my kazoo mid-flight. The passengers on American Eagles' flight to Cedar Rapids LOVED us.

This year we decided to combine the best aspects of Christmas and Spring Break: presents, binge-drinking, and chanting. "Best Christmas Ever. 2010. Woo!" could be heard at regular intervals throughout the airport, Grandma's house, Wal-Mart, and Pizza Ranch.

To top it all off, my father cannot be left alone in airports so my sister and I have had to babysit him during our travels. With only moments before our flight was due to board, he decided he must use the restroom and took off. There I was, sprinting down the concourse in my new engineer boots after a grown man to ensure that he wound return to the gate in a timely manner.

Next year I'm going away by myself.


It's been fun but I cannot take one more day of cookies and beer. I feel soft and gross all over. Please American Airlines, please please let me return to New York and my gym membership.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy People Are Fat, Hungry People Are Mean

Ruining your life and all your meaningful relationships once a month will keep you slim. Or at least it will if stress and embarrassment make you lose your appetite. I am always my thinnest when I'm at my most stressed out - pledging, switching jobs, being broken up with... I can't say there's much motivation to maintain a happy existence since I look awesome when I'm miserable.

With the exception of my first year out of college, when I was really stressed out, then gained a lot of weight, and then ended up even more miserable, I'm not hungry when faced with stressful situations. After that year I realized how large I had gotten, became desperately miserable, started ruining my life, and while everything else pretty much sucked, I lost 20 lbs.

Lately I've been panicking about situations that shouldn't be that big of a deal. I can't explain why this is happening, but today I wasn't hungry. At all. Happy people are fat, and I just might be crazy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Getting Enough Vegetables in Your Diet

Living on my own, I struggle with getting enough vegetables in my daily diet. The produce I buy usually spoils before I finish it. I don't mind frozen vegetables but they can taste soggy and bland.

Before you start claiming veggie pizza and primavera pasta as your vegetable sources, check out some of the ways I've managed to include fresh vegetables into my diet.

Sugar Snap Peas - the best thing since potato chips. I eat them raw out of a snack baggie. They have a satisfying crunch and taste really good. If you're looking for a little more flavor, I sometimes sprinkle Goya vegetable seasoning onto them. To get the seasoning to stick, spritz a little water onto the snap peas first.

Shelled Green Peas - Throw these tasty morsels into salads and pasta dishes. I also like them in stir-fries. You can really put them in anything.

Lettuce - I serve my pasta on a bed of lettuce, no joke. Romaine or iceberg is best because you want to add a satisfying crunch to your carb dish. The fiber in the lettuce fills you up, diminishing your desire for seconds, and it helps keep your sauce on your noodles. Thanks Mom for introducing me to this nifty idea. I also eat plain lettuce out of ziplock bags while watching tv. Guiltless mindless snacking.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'll Take an Eightball of Wheat Thins

I live in a studio apartment, which means if I invite you over to watch tv on my couch, you are also in my bedroom and my kitchen. Doesn't bother me, just don't treat my bed like a chair. Or touch my baby blankets. Or put your shoes near the comforter. Anyway, I digress.

Every time I have male visitors over, ones who have permission to get near the bed and ones who do not, they notice my food scale and immediately assume I'm a drug dealer. Hello?! It says "The Biggest Loser" on it. I didn't know Jillian and Bob were now hawking merchandise to the honest drug dealers of the world.

You have got to own a food scale. Measuring cups seem tedious and inaccurate after you start measuring your food in grams. My scale has really simplified making healthy salads. The tasty ingredients can really hike up the calories and you need to be careful that you didn't accidentally put in 400 calories of almond slivers. I just hit tare in between ingredients rather than driving myself crazy with a bunch of little cups and spoons. There are a lot of digital food scales on the market, but The Biggest Loser Food Scale is reasonably priced and available at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saturday Sight-Seeing

Today I set out for a run and ran 13.5 miles. Why? Because I can. And it was a beautiful day. I cut through Vernon Middle School and headed north down 106. It is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, and the smell of the evergreen trees for sale at Dodds and Eder made me smile.

I headed through the the town of Oyster Bay and ran over towards the beach. There was a dead sea gull in the parking lot (gross) and a few other runners taking advantage of the nice weather.

This is the view from the beach. While it was extremely windy, I didn't feel cold in a pair of sweat pants and my Under Armour performance top. I continued on over towards the Oyster Bay Marine Center. In the twenty-four years that I have lived in Oyster Bay, I have never been back there. I ran back up by Carvel and made a left onto East Main Street.

I really don't like having to pay attention to traffic patterns while I run, which is why I like the East River Esplanade and the Central Park Reservoir so much. You avoid other runners and do your own thing. My plan was to run to Teddy Roosevelt's house Sagamore Hill, and to do this I had to run along some well-trafficked roads. I found that there is ample space for a runner in Oyster Bay Cove, even with all the twists and curves. Cove Neck Road was a little bit more difficult to maneuver, but I managed.
This is the view of Oyster Bay Harbor from Cove Neck Road. It's the opportunity to get outside and see this while exercising that kept me out on Long Island for the weekend.

I had run close to 6 miles by the time I reached this grassy spot. My lungs felt clear, but my feet and knees were beginning to hurt. Today is the first time I took my new Nike Frees outside for a run. I tried to remember the running form I've been reading about - body erect, hips tucked under, balls of the feet striking the ground - and I think this made a difference. Overall, I felt pretty damn good.

I saw a lot of beautiful houses on Cove Neck, and even picked out one for my future residence. I headed up the hill to Sagamore Hill and ran past an older couple out for a walk. I said hello and continued on my way. I hadn't put much thought into what I would do once I reached the historical site, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a clean and warm bathroom. I freshened up and refilled my water bottle at the sink. Then I walked around the grounds for a little.

This is Sagamore Hill. Compared to some of the newer houses on Cove Neck, it looks tiny.

Now that I had reached my destination, I had to get myself back home. I saw a lot of friendly members of the Oyster Bay community out and about running and riding their bicycles. I am a showoff and my vanity kept me moving along. My fingers had gotten cold and I was glad that I had brought along a pair of gloves in my Spibelt.

I had come this far so I decided to prove that I could run a half-marathon. I've signed up for one in March and I need to start training for it. Even though I could have reached my house in 11 miles, I kept going until I reached 25A. Then I headed west to the Gulf Station before turning around. I cut back through Vernon and then ran around my cul-de-sac. I was shuffling my feet more than running, but I was able to pick up the pace once I knew the end was near. Including all the stops I made for taking photos, adjusting my gear, and using the facilities, it took me 2 hours and 29 minutes to complete my run. Not bad for a Saturday morning, eh?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sea Salt Cleanse

Am I the only person that finds salt water delectable? I just drank 32 ounces of the stuff and I found it absolutely delicious. A sea salt cleanse acts as a detox for your digestive track (fancy shmancy words for laxative if you ask me) and I figured I'd give it a try. The recipe said to mix 2 teaspoons of sea salt into 32 ounces of lukewarm water and to add a squeeze of lemon. Every other person on the Internet is complaining about this stuff, and I swallowed it down like no big deal. I actually enjoyed it. I would like some more.

Once I find out if I've been detoxed, I'll give you an update.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Feels like Home

I finally got to return to Tuesday night kickboxing last night. I'm not sure that I can truly convey to you how much I love going to that class over the Internet, but I'll try. It is hands down the thing I love doing most in the entire world. I'm addicted to the adrenaline rush and endorphin high from hinge-kicking four feet off the ground only to go right into the next sequence. My heart rate monitor hit 202 bpm before crapping out and going on strike. I chucked it to the side and just kept going. Sometimes I find it liberating to get away from heart rates and caloric intake, but if I stop tracking for too long, I lose motivation and get fat.

I was so happy to be back at my gym and seeing all of my friends. I miss them when I am away. Kickboxing always feels like a party.
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