That that don't kill me, can only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now, cause I can't wait much longer. Kanye West, Stronger

Friday, June 13, 2008

More fun healthy stuff-mostly free and outdoors!

I could resist posting this for my NYC readers!

Yoga for Athletes
Discover Your True Yoga Identity
Thursday June 26th 7pm to 9pm
Union Square Jack Rabbit Sports

Begin, renew or customize your yoga practice to enhance your running, swimming or cycling. Join the authors of CityStretch, A Guide to NYC Yoga for tips on the best yoga poses for athletes, the cheapest ways to practice yoga in the city and what you need to know to find the appropriate yoga class for your fitness level and needs. Yoga instructor and author Natasha Augoustopoulis and co-author Erin Turner will explain things to know before trying yoga for the first time, or how to enhance an already established yoga practice including where to find the best within the five boroughs. Authors will give brief demonstrations on postures that are most beneficial for athletes and will be on hand for Q & A as well as hands-on adjustments.All yoga apparel and accessories will be 15% off at JackRabbit on event day. Lecture starts at 7:30pm

Central Park Workout
*I don't know how much this costs, but it could be cool!

Central Park Workout
Meet at the NW corner of 60th St (at Fifth Ave) Central Park
Subway: F to 57th St; N, R, W to Fifth Ave–59th St

Turn your walk in Central Park into a total-body workout by using the natural elements as your fitness equipment. Benches, steps, hills and open-grass spaces are the center of this program to increase muscle tone, stamina, endurance and agility.

Mondays 6:30pm–7:30pm , Wednesdays 6:30pm–7:30pm , Saturdays 10am–11am .

Let's Dance
Riverside Park South-riverside rocks, too bad it's a hike for me!
between 66th and 72nd Sts Upper West Side
Sun 6pm–9pm, Jun 22 6pm–9pm, Jun 29 6pm–9pm

Tickets: Free
It’s wedding season and you’re dreading hitting the dance floor. You can turn to Dance Dance Revolution to teach you some moves, or head to Riverside Park to get tips from the real experts. Learn to dance like a pro at these salsa, swing and hustle lessons taught by salsa dance sensation Raul Santiago every Sunday in June.

Nutrition Town Hall
St. Bart's Church
109 E 50th St (between Lexington and Park Aves) Tickets: Free
Whoever said there’s strength in numbers would agree that it’s a good idea to attend this weekly nutrition support and educational meeting. Led by certified nutritionist Robert Crayhon, the gathering will help foster a sense of community where everyone helps each other to achieve optimal wellness. It also aims to help you prevent and manage a wide range of health conditions. People of all religious and cultural backgrounds as well as those with any specific dietary restrictions or disabilities are welcome to attend.
Mon 7pm–8pm , Jun 23 7pm–8pm , Jun 30 7pm–8pm , Jul 7 7pm–8pm , Jul 14 7pm–8pm .

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Time Out!

Hey Fitness Friends,

I just wanted to give you a heads up that I would be posting regularly anymore. I'm back in class, and while I always have a million posts in my head, I have to focus on my life goals, career, and school. But I will miss writing and being silly in cyberspace.

Of course, I will occasionally put up a review of an amazing class or any great free fitness opportunities I hear about, but it will be very much on a rolling basis.

I appreciate all my readers, and of course, feel free to email me with any questions, fitness-related or otherwise.

xoxo, Meliss

PS I saw a girl on the treadmill ahead of me at the gym yesterday, the back of her shirt said "there's a reason why you are behind me" Brillant, hilarious and very motivating! Keep it moving.

Beat the heat!

Okay so the heat wave may finally be over, but summer can be a hard time to find the motivation or time to exercise. I mean who wants to be at a gym when you could be having bloodies and bagels on the beach? Plus there is also safety to consider.

So here are few of my tips (from experts and personal experience)

If you are going to be exercising outside:

1.) Start early!
You should really be starting your workout by 8am. Plus you get it over with and have the whole day ahead of you. Ideally, you want to finish before it really starts getting hot and the strongest rays are coming down (around 10am).

2.) Be smart
Your body increases around 20 degrees once it is warmed up, so use your head, if it's too hot, stay inside or go for a swim. Note: heat advisory warnings mean it's too hot!

3.) Wear sunscreen and a hat or visor.
It is amazing how much wearing a hat and sunscreen helps fight fatigue and protects you from heat exhaustion and even heat stroke! You will be able to go longer and stronger. Plus your skin will seriously thank you later on! Believe me, no one will give you more sympathy for wanting to hone your tan while your out of doors than me. A gorgeous tan was practically a requirement to be a lifeguard with any social status. But even I slap it on!

4.) Drink, Drink, Drink
No brainer, if you are working out, have tons of water on hand. Seriously consider buying a fuel belt and always carry a few dollars in case you need to buy more water. For every 15 minutes spent exercising in the heat, you need 8 ounces of water. That's a lot, so be prepared! If you are going for more than 45 minutes, you need to switch to a drink with electrolytes to replace those you are losing through sweat. This keeps your body's sodium and electrolyte levels in check, so it isn't a bad idea to fill your bottles with half Gatorade/half water or carry a few of each!

5.) Eat by the clock
For endurance athletes, the heat can make you feel less hungry, but once you are out for more than an hour, you need to refuel. Just enough to keep your body stable. So about 100 calories after the first hour and 100 more every 45 minutes there after. Gels, gus, shot blocks, dried fruit, whatever works for you. Just make sure it is at least 90% carbs and very little fiber. This is so it is easily digested and your body can access the energy (cals) quickly. It doesn't make sense to eat something that your body needs hours to break down.

6.) Go shopping
It is really worth it to sell out a little extra money to replace your cotton wife beater with dri-fit tanks during the summer. Wearing clothing that breathes properly, will keep you drier, cooler and more comfortable all around. So hit up your local sports store, ask questions and try something on until you look and feel fabulous!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What I Eat

So a few of you asked what I ate in a typical day. It's a fair question, but one I have been hesitant to answer because a.) I hate writing down what I eat b.) I'm not a perfect eater at all c.) Thinking about makes me feel a little guilty for all the crap I eat.
However, since I do eat on the run and eat out A LOT, I thought it might be helpful for those of you who don't have time to cook, live in cities and rely on cafes and restaurant or are in college and rely on dining services for the majority of your meals. Plus, maybe you guys can give me some pointers!

Like I said I don't eat perfect, I grave, I nibble, I mindlessly eat sometimes (okay often times), but I do eat a TON of fresh produce, and I am working on getting bit better. Such as eating almond butter stuffed dates instead of commercially prepared cookies for dessert.
I have posted before on my strategies for eating out:

and even recorded a few times

and on weekdays

So here are a few general meals that I eat regularly, I am pretty boring and repeat a lot.
Then I'll list a rough idea of my last 5 days

Common Breakfasts:

-fage, fruit, 1/2 cup fiber one or a few ryvita 5 grain crackers
-McDonalds Fruit and yogurt parfait, a few high fiber crackers or added high fiber cereal
-packet low sugar oatmeal, fruit
-kashi go lean crunchy bar, fruit
-beet, spinach, cucumber, celery and ginger juice with a piece of fruit

90% of the time I get a salad from the cafe, most commonly it is
spinach, avocado, grape tomatoes, cucumber, and carrots
sometimes I sub the avocado for feta, goat cheese,beans or beets
If I am feeling really hunger I add sundried tomatoes (sublime with avo) and sprouts
+I usually have half the foccicia that comes with the salad or if I am being healthier a piece of fruit or some high fiber crackers (rye crisp, ryvita, ak mak)

Other times:
-grilled veggie wrap with fruit
-veggie sushi roll and fage or carrot soup or edammame
-budget lunch:packet oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, baby carrots
Afternoon snack:
-most often chocolate caramel Kashi Golean bar
-lara or gnubar
-Nutritious Creations low fat cookies (don't get addicted these are not great for you and I am almost positive the label is incorrect)
-McDonald's vanilla cone
-fruit and laughing cow/raw almonds
-veggie juice

If out (probably 3 times a week): see eating out without filling out post

If in:

almost always a huge salad with some kind of protein like cottage cheese, goat cheese, beans, tempeh, or a side of yogurt
then also a carb like sweet potato, whole grain bread, oatmeal pancakes, small bowl cereal (but I really can't be trusted with cereal, so I try to keep it out of my cabinet and in yogurt rather than in a bowl--because one bowl often becomes 3!)

sometimes I skip the salad and have steamed frozen veggies with parmesan or nutritional yeast

I also think frozen dinners are great for calorie and portion control. I mean a panini for 300 calories? woo-hoo. Unfortunately, since going vegetarian two years ago, I have far fewer options. Amy's are pretty expensive and tend to be quite carb heavy, so I really only have frozen meals maybe twice a month. always with a side salad and fruit.

I have always been a huge dessert person and a night time snacker, but lately I have been trying to cut down on that by eating a better breakfast and having my sweet in the afternoon in I need it. However, things I do enjoy while reading in bed (gasp, I know)

ice cream (light or regular, but not premium)
frozen low fat chocolate pudding
skinny cow treats
frozen bananas
dates stuffed with almond butter

So the last few days:


Breakfast: Oatmeal

Lunch: steamed veggie burrito in whole wheat wrap with no rice ( I ate 2/3) from Bamboleo

Midday:Chocolate Peanut Butter Nestle Toll House Pie that I made for my coworkers birthday

Dinner: At Cafe Deville: Steamed mussels (didn't realize they would use far more than the dash of cream), delicious homemade bread (so worth it, although it is usually not) and steamed spinach (instead of fries)

After yoga (1am) frozen banana--which I didn't need!

This weekend I ate in much more than usually, my plans dinner plans for the last three days have been rescheduled over and over!

Breakfast: oatmeal with a few almonds and unsulfured, unsweetened dried cherries

Lunch: homemade eggplant caponata with parm, plus a cuc, sprout, chard, carrot and kiwi salad with some three grain tempeh sauteed in soy sauce

Snack: kashi bar, there may have been something else sweet or a piece of fruit in there, but I can't remember

Dinner: the same as lunch, I just loved lunch so much, I mixed up the salad veggies a bit!

At the bars: sugar free red-bull vodka, corona, got home at 3am and went straight to bed like a good girl


Breakfast: kiwi and some almonds

Lunch oatmeal pancakes with 1 packet low sugar brown sugar and maple instant oatmeal, plus a few tablespoons rolled oats, 2 egg whites, 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt and cinnamon, topped with jam

snack: double chocolate rice krispie treat

dinner: the last of the eggplant caponata with goat cheese and salad with tempeh, apple


Breakfast: fage, peach, kashi TLC bar

Lunch:grilled veggies with hummus and sprouts in a whole wheat wrap, kiwi

Snack: 4 chocolate covered pretzels and vanilla cone from McD's

Dinner:steamed brussels sprouts, side salad, sweet potato with goat cheese and an apple


Breakfast: fruit and yogurt parfait with 2 ryvita crackers, plus adora calcium supplement

Lunch: salad with beets, goat cheese, plum tomato, carrot, cuc and sprouts,light honey dijon dressing, 2 ryvita crackers

snack: apple

Dinner: large salad, pretty much the same as lunch, more steamed brussels sprouts with parm and goat cheese, hummus and whole wheat pita

for my sweet tooth: 1/2 a nutritious creation cookie

Sorry whenever I add photos it screw up the formatting. Maybe I need to do that first, then type!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weekly Workout Wrap Up

Monday: Pilates at Crunch

Tuesday: Yoga at Yoga Sutra+ 40 block walk to yoga studio. For the record, I passed 6 Mister Softee's on the way to the studio, but since we are in an open relationship, I decided not to smother him :)

5 mile run+Zumbanda workout video (just felt like dancing and this is an easy one).

The run was not the NYRR Anniversary run I was so excited about. Things kind of crumbled and there was a lot of miscommunication, but it's a looong story, so I'll spare you! I ended up doing the run on the NYU Rooftop track. Normally the thought of running on a track is pretty hellacious to me, but the dark muggy gym was even more so, plus I was hankering for a run! It was far more pleasant than I anticipated and I had it to myself for most of the time, save a few boys who did a few quick laps and an old crazy guy.

On a side note, the track felt so nice on my legs, so much better than concrete or the treadmill. I might have to use it more often. In general grass, a track, dirt or sand (which is awesome for burning extra calories and toning your legs FAST) are more gentle on the knees and legs than pavement, treadmills or other hard surfaces.

Thursday: Morning workout: 45 elliptical, and 20 minutes of ab and leg work. Using the ball, stability board and lots of lunges.

Friday: Morning workout: 45 minutes elliptical, 15 minute run. 100 squats. 40 block walk and then an AMAZING midnight yoga class at Laughing Lotus. So Friday night I went out to have dinner with my girlfriends, and fellow marathon runners. They were both getting up in the morning, one to do a 40 mile bike, one hour run in prep for an Iron Man, the other to do a 6 mile race and an hour long Pilates class. Needless to say, when you have friends who are really into fitness you feel slightly more normal, say, spending your Friday night doing yoga. I have actually always wanted to do the midnight class at Laughing Lotus (10pm-12AM), despite wondering who would be there. Super yogis? People in AA trying to avoid the bars? Losers? Me? Anyways, it seemed like a good opportunity, so I stuck leggings and a tank top in my bag, just in case. We finished dinner at Cafe Deville around 9:45, so I had just enough time to get to the class. After a moment of considering meeting up with friends at the Beer Garden (flip cup can be a workout :)) I decided to seize the moment and get over feeling like a huge dork. I am glad I did. I really enjoyed the class and the people were pretty normal.

I realized I had been afraid to take more challenging level classes because I don't really consider myself a yogi and I didn't think I was ready. But I really enjoy classes that challenge me, and it's okay if I can do all the crazy handstands and things, I can try! Plus, I definitely have the stamina to keep up with the fast-paced classes and lots of favorite. I am also fine at anything involving back bends (thanks to years of gymnastics), so really it's the poses and inversions that require lots of upper body strength that I need to work on! Yay, beginner no more!

Saturday: 7.5 mile run to Astoria Park and back+40 block walk. I love this place, even though it's a much longer run from my new apartment, I think it is worth the effort. I am not sure if it is because it was one of my first "discoveries"when I moved to Queens from Manhattan, but I adore it.

I love the MASSIVE pool with the super old-fashioned triple decker diving board and sprinkler pool, plus the 50 meter and 16 lane main pool! I lifeguarded for 7 years, and even I would be intimidated to guard there! I also love that it was built as a public work during the depression.

So I payed homage to the pool and stopped for a second to watch the filming of a movie. I couldn't figure out what it was, but there was a few trailers, tons of equipment, and a large crew that was melting in 100 degree weather. I ran back along the water, which was moving pretty quickly for a calm day!
I actually prepared for my run remembering to put on sunscreen and bring my metrocard in case of emergencies. I even dressed the part, wearing my race ready spandex shorts, so I could stash my key, card and one of the bottles from my fuel belt--which I left at home. I actually could have used more water, so perhaps I will wear my fuelbelt next time.

Dressing the part isn't a bad tip, it kept me running. I didn't want to be seen wearing spandex (hate it), sweating like a pig and walking :)
Sunday: Total lazy day, the dry heat from yesterday has been replaced by serious humidity. I think that paired with a late night at the bars last night has made me a bit tired. So I did a very relaxed 40 minutes on the elliptical after dinner. Just kind of cycled around while watching ENews!

Exciting news, I was so disappointed about missing Masala Bhangra on Monday, and I guess someone from Crunch read the post because they emailed me inviting me back to actually attend. I CAN'T wait. Thank you so much Crunch. Good things come to those who blog.
xoxo Meliss

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Outdoor Fitness in the City

So I said I would get together a list of free outdoor yoga places, which turned out to be easier said than done, but I did put together a list of great outdoor fitness events, classes, etc. going on this summer. But WAY more is out there, I came across free lawn bowling classes in Central Park, so definitely do some googling, if you have a specific interest!

Outdoor Yoga/Pilates

Riverside Park
Take a free outdoor yoga class every Wednesday evening on the Plaza at 66th St. at the Hudson River. Bring your own mat to the Evening Salute to the Sun, Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. from June 11 to Sept. 24.

Bryant Park
Free yoga on the lawn on Thursdays from 6-7. Mats provided.

Socrates Sculpture Park
Free yoga on Saturdays 9:30-10:30 and 11:00-12:00.

Rooftop Yoga at Laughing Lotus
Hosts roof top yoga events throughout the summer. 7pm to sunset, $20, check out the schedule and reserve very early!

The Lincoln Center Midsummer Nights Swing series has dance classes and open dancing in Damrosch Park. Swing on Tuesdays, Salsa on Saturdays, July 6-26th! Check out the schedule! $17

Running and Biking
I have often mentioned the great free runnning groups in NYC, but there are also lots of biking clubs. Niketown has biking and running clubs. Check out this listing of clubs

Free kayaking is offered at the Long Island City and Downtown Boat Houses. Check out their hours.

Getting your workout in outdoors means you don't have to waste your summer in the gym, and you can get a tan to boot!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Goal Setting

More and more I find setting a workout goal to be a great way to ensure I have a good workout. It makes sense, an athlete would never train for their sport without a well defined plan of attack. I am sure Michael Jordan never just said, maybe I'll dribble this ball around for a few weeks; it was probably something more to the tune of I have to make 50 foul shots in a row before leaving the court. (My dad often had me do 15 as a kid, I guess he figured since I was short, I better be a great shot.)

So while I don't really write out a weekly plan. On my way to the gym, I check in with my body and set a definitive goal. Something as simple as, I am kind of tired, 30 minutes walking on the treadmill and watching the news, is more likely to result in at least 30 minutes, then walking for 15 and deciding you've had enough.

Since I have extended my workouts to 65 minutes, 5 times a week, a plan really helps keep me focused and on track, without a goal. If I just "went to the gym," I would probably never make it! So whether the goal is run to this point or 30 minute run, 25 elliptical, 10 rower, I like having an objective in place.

Those last 5 minutes can be brutal (but also the most important), so saving your favorite song or two for them can help. Lately, Naughty Girl has helped me survive when the going gets tough. Rather than make those last 5 minutes miserable, make them glorious.

If I really have to pull out the big guns, I think of inspiring quotes, such as without challenge, there is not change or do or do not, there is not try. Obviously, I interpret these lightheartedly!

I definitely need to start defining my strength plan more clearly, I think that is why I often get bored and leave early, I have nothing to aim for.

So I encourage you to set some goals, maybe 10 minutes before you start your workout. Whether it be running at a certain speed for a 20 % of your run or making it half a mile further before you walk or just making it through an entire episode "So You Think You Can Dance" (at 75% of your maximum heart rate if you want to get hard core on me) on the elliptical.

I hope these ideas help you stay focused and enjoy your workouts more. Recognize your accomplishments and feel great about achieving your goals. And every once in a while, feel free to phone in a workout, just not from your razor!

PS Janet Evans was once my idol!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pilates Mat at Crunch/Vinyasa at Yoga Sutra

Okay, let me start this post by saying that I had been looking forward to taking Masala Bhangra at the 13th Street Crunch for weeks! I was literally dying to take it. I took the mini class at Self Workout in the Park, and loved every single second. It is at the addiction level of spinning. Basically it's like a big Indian Wedding vibe, but you're more doing a Bollywood-esque dance. It's an incredible cardio workout, but your having so much fun, it's almost unfair to say it's a workout.

So what happened? I am basically an idiot. I was planning to get to Crunch for the 6:15 MB class at 13th street, but I thought I knew where the 13th street Crunch was, so I didn't look it up or anything. I arrived at the gym, showed my free guest pass, sat through about 10 minutes of the speil by the membership rep, and took a tour of the gym, when I mentioned the class, the rep looked at me blankly. Suddenly I realized that I was at the wrong place. I came to find I was at the Union Square location--for the record the 13th Street location is much closer to Union Square than the Union Square location. So I didn't get to go the class but I put a link to a 7 minute video of Sarina J's class below, there are a ton of them on youtube. Plus, here is an article on Sarina from Cooking Light.

So I was at the gym and ready to go, so the rep suggested the Pilates class. I got the last spot on the list, and although I was a bit disappointed, the rep assured me the class was really intense.

He wasn't kidding. The class was like Pilates on steroids. Ridiculous! The instructor Tina Thompson was super energetic. Every move was done at an incredibly high pace and with endless reps. Tina would say 20 more, and as soon as we got to 20, she would say 20 more, this happened three or four times for each move. Clearly math was not her best subject. So we did over 100 reps of a lot of moves. I actually found this really annoying, if I have 200 reps left I would like to know that rather than hearing 10 and knowing that I am no where near the end and the number has zero significance.

None of the moves were the Pilates moves I knew, but it was definitely an incredible workout. I am surprised my abs aren't killing me today! We did over 200 butterfly kicks while having our upperbody lifted with arms overhead and went directly into 100 leg drops! There was also weights and plates to really work the arms. One of the moves was doing a push up on the weights then jumping legs out and back. By the end of the second arm move, it was all I could do to support myself in plank position.

I did fairly well in the class, I never made it through all the reps of any move, but I did better than most. No one was able to do everything. I definitely left feeling the burn. I will say that the studio was like a sauna, at first I thought it was Bikram Pilates or something, but someone did suggest we turn on the fans, which helped a bit. I mean I was sweating five minutes into the class!

I would definitely recommend Crunch as a gym. There are plenty of locations in Manhattan and tons of great classes. The gyms are nice (not super posh, but more than serviceable)and the staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. Memberships are around $100 a month.

Since my yoga class at Yoga Sutra was not to exciting, I'll give a quick recap. The studio had a great reception area with a cute shop and lounge space. But it had no where to change! Everyone was shoved in a hallway, trying to wriggle in and out of clothes in a tiny space. -5 for bad karma!

The studio itself was nice and the 6:00 class was very full. I arrived early, even though I thought I was going to be late. As I mentioned, I grew up in a family that firmly believes that if you are on time, you are 5 minutes late, so the mere thought of being late sent me into a panic, and I practically sprinted the 40 blocks from work, making it to the studio in a record 25 minutes.

The staff was nice, but the instructor was late so I had to lie around on the mat for longer than I would like. I was thinking about the emails I could be sending if I could just go grab my blackberry from my bag, but I tried to remember where I was and focus on less material things. Namaste Melissa!

Finally the class started. It was a beginner/intermediate vinyasa class, but it was the easiest yoga I have ever taken. The class was fine, a great hour and 20 minute stretch.

-it did not bring me any closer to being a yogi
-it definitely didn't feel like a workout, but I guess that's not the point

-I did feel much longer and leaner when I left
-I still feel well stretched and all the back pain and tightness I have felt lately are gone
-my friend says the lyengar classes are really good
-it was free

So I am still on my quest to find the perfect yoga studio for me, but I have not written off yoga benefits by any means.

Also Betsy recommended a place called Yoga Effects, which was pretty awesome, possible my yoga nirvana. Another reader recommended Prana Power Yoga, which I have to try--the schedule just isn't the best for me!

Serious Fitness in the News

There have been so notable fitness stories in the news lately, Crack Fitness worthy for sure :).

I just thought I would share a few quickly:

Gym Grunter Not Assaulted by Silencer, a Jury Rules

I heard about this story months ago in a spinning class! Then my friend just sent me the NYTimes article with the verdict. Too funny!

Dean Karnazes, aka Ultramarathon Man, just finished a 700 miles run through the 21 California Missions in 11 days. He finished with the San Diego Marathon on Sunday. See his blog here:

Finally, this article in Runner's World on Mario Lopez makes me laugh, he got to run the Boston Marathon, and he actually had the audacity to stop for lunch! The most coveted marathon entry on the planet, and the best runners in the country, this is not the marathon to grab some clam chowder!

Oh, and the ever exciting fight to host the Olympics: yay Chitown!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Healthier Lifestyle Changes Seem to be Working

So it's been a week since I adopted my three new diet guidelines:

Guideline 1: Don't Drink Diet Coke (aka don't pour sugar craving stimulating acid down your throught thrice daily)
I haven't been perfect, but I have managed to drink a ton more water. It would take a very long time to enumerate my reasons for trying to ax the coke habit, but hopefully slowly and surely and I will be addiction free. My tactics have included:

1.) buying lemons to put in my water, which makes me really enjoy water

2.)drinking iced coffee, which has less acid and the milk I put in it makes up for the bone erosion due to caffeine However, I am trying to cut down on the amount I spend on beverages, so this isn't a great option, plus it's just too much caffeine for my system

3.)trying to wait as long as possible before succumbing to the coke. The way I start the day totally sets the tone for my day. A healthy breakfast sans DC totally helps nix the sugar cravings, mindless munching and runaway nighttime eating. Plus if I can make it until lunch without soda, sometimes I don't even want it!

Guideline 2: Eat only when hungry-going really well. I have had a few talks with myself about the two minutes of enjoyment a brownie will bring not being worth it two hours later, and that seemed to do the trick. Especially coupled with less sugar/DC in the morning which whets my sweet tooth!

Guideline 3: No eating after dinner. Also going well. A few times I have eaten a piece of fruit ( like a big ass apple or grapefruit), but that's about it. I have been reading and going to bed earlier, not enough sleep always makes me ravenous the next day!

I have lost 2 pounds. Although I can't tell AT ALL, I think it is actually weight because I have hopped on the scale every other day and the number has always gone down with no fluctuation.

I think this is partially due to a lot more natural exercise, thank you very much good weather.

I have had about one treat each day ( I didn't plan to have or not have any, but it ended up about one a day) including, Pinkberry (with my fav girl :), cookies, half a brownie, samoa flavored tasti-d-lite on a sugar cone, and Mister Softee.

I love ice cream more than any man I've ever met (since I have never been in love-tear), so I am glad I can still have it without guilt. Although, I wonder if I would have lost twice as much if I had been perfect--but I am not! In case you didn't get the reference, it's based on one of my favorite quotes is by Walt Disney: "I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever met."

I also have Friday nights and one brunch a weekend reserved for whatever the hell I want, and always have. This Friday I had half a pizza, 3 glasses of wine and ice cream, quite the splurge even for me!

The point is progress not perfect, a little change can go a long way. And I NEVER felt hungry, overly concerned with food, or deprived to boot! For me it is clearly more the way I eat, rather than what I eat. Besides the treats and Friday my diet was very clean and well balanced with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies.

Today I did treat myself to a healthier summer treat mango on a stick! Brilliant.

Yesterday, I did a free CRAZY pilates class at Crunch, tonight I am taking a complimentary yoga class at Yoga Sutra, and tomorrow is my free NYRR Anniversary Run. Lots of free workouts and lots of reviews coming up!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Race and Wrap up

Thursday: I was really tired from Wednesday's workout, and building my nightstand and barstools, so I went to the gym to escape...a detox workout if you will. I did a very easy 30 minutes on the elliptical and 10 on the bike. Since I wasn't sweaty, I went into the sauna to just relax for about 10 minutes...ahhhh!

Friday: I really only had time to workout in the morning.
I was not an energetic exerciser that morning, lots of yawning on the elliptical. I did 15 elliptical, 15 walking at 5% incline at 4.5 mph, and 5 on the rower. Then 50 squats on the bosu.
I don't think I've mentioned this, but I am quite a bootilicious girl--very disproportionately to the rest of my body, almost comically so, thus I try to tighten as much as possible.

The weather has been SO AMAZING that I have been doing a ton more natural exercise, walking, walking,walking. I can't bear going underground and miss out on the beauty of the day. So I walked about 20 blocks to pick up my lunch from my favorite salad spot Benvenuto, and got an amazing, avocado, spinach, sundried tomato, sprout, edammame, broccoli, cuc and carrot salad with some balsamic and a slice of whole grain bread. Yum, then I hiked back.

I took the subway to NYRR to pick up my race packet, then walked from 5th and 89th (enjoying a glimpse of the Gugg.) to Grand Central to catch the subway. This was a quick walk, the typical NYer walk like your late even if your early. I got to pass my favorite NYC building the GE, formerly RCA Victor Building. I am not sure why it is my fav, but I do love it. I have always been an architecture dork, but building so much furniture (the ikea stuff is barely more than a sapling when you take it out of the box), I appreciate all the detail and work that went into the gorgeous old buildings even more.

So my quick hike home to change did add a bit to my daily exercise tally, but later that night, after 3+ glasses of wine, the elevators weren't really working so I hiked up 20 flights in heels! Luckily my date was a good sport!!! The laughing and talking on the way up really winded me!

Saturday: 30 elliptical, 20 rower (while watching Maria Sharpova kick ass), 20 minutes bike. Later I decided to climb all 29 flights of stairs, since I am no longer in a 3 floor walk up, I think I will do the whole trek every other day to make up for it. Plus, I REALLY want to do the Empire State Building Run Up at some point. I am a nerd!

Sunday-Japan race (4 miles), plus walking from 102nd and the west side to grand central, probably another 4 miles, but incredible SLOWLY.

The race went well, although I arrived a little late, so I literally sprinted to bag drop off to make it to the start line on time. It was pretty funny that the majority of the people on the uptown 6 this morning were doing the race. Why else would anyone be up so early? It has been a sporty subway weekend. It was nice to feel the comraderly though. I have been on quite a few trains that have been completely dominated by METS clothing. I would say 75% of people were wearing at least one METS item, and of those people, 90% were wearing more than one.

Oh yeah, the race. I was able to really focus on form. "I Tiki tiki" as Ramon would say: short strides with little arm swings on the uphills and then wider strides with larger arm swings on the downs and flats. Halfway through I thought to myself that a sugar free Red Bull would have made the race a lot better--lol. The course was the easiest 4 mile loop of the park, 102nd down to 72nd street transverse and back up. The only thing that it made it slightly more difficult was that the uphills were on the second half. Plus it was much sunnier on the east side. It was great that they limited registration, so I didn't feel like I was stepping on anyone. I still feel right in the 50% for my age gender though. :(

It was great to be in the park again, but the cherry blossoms and daffodils that made my heart swell a few weeks ago were gone. When you live in concrete ugliness for too long, flora and fauna is pretty exciting!

I also did some strength at the gym when I got home. Lots of abs (on the ball, mountain climbers, with the medicine ball and on the hanging contraption), a few squats and lunges (very few) and then arms. Wow, I am kind of concerned about how weak my upper body is. After about 2 sets of 15 of about 6 different exercises, my arms were searing. And I could only do 5 push ups easily. I tried to do a second set, but could barely eek it out. I must do some reading on proper arm exercises and work up more strength. I love lean toned arms, so sexy!

I hope everyone had a great weekend with gorgeous weather! xoxo Meliss