Turning a Corner

At approximately 11:45 this morning, I had a little breakthrough.

I’ve been feeling pretty down about my body since the marathon. While I’m still working out a ton, there’s no way I can match the crazy-high calorie burn that running 30-45 miles a week provided. And that’s fine. 

While I haven’t usually felt like I was eating like I was training for a marathon in an excessive way, I was definitely able to eat more and not think about it for quite some time. This is probably the longest running break I’ve taken since I started running a few years ago (eff this winter. I’ll be back out there when it’s over), so I’ve been trying to learn all over again how to eat in a way that keeps me both healthy and happy.

I’ve also been working out with a trainer at Uplift for the past few weeks. The classes are amazing, obviously, but I wanted some personal attention for a bit, so I’ve been working out with my buddy Leanne, and she’s delivered. I sort of worried that I’d try to be too chatty with someone I knew, but I’m breathing too hard and don’t want to distract her from counting reps, so that doesn’t happen. I also worried I’d feel dumb failing in front of her after the millionth rep, but what would be the point of working out with a trainer if I weren’t working as hard as I possibly could? 

My typical week in workouts for the past two weeks has been this: 1-2 Uplifting Strength classes, 2 sessions with Leanne, 1 Uplifting Sculpt Fusion (this one is the seriously non-negotiable one. Since I’m paying for unlimited classes at Uplift right now, I’ve been trying to cut back on other fitness spending like yoga, except when I need a good Soul fix, because it’s way cheaper than my old therapist was) and ~2 cardio sessions. 

I had a chat with Michelle, my Uplift Strength Challenge coach, the other day. I’ve been telling her how frustrated I’ve been with my lack of progress. That I know I’m getting stronger, but I don’t feel it or feel like I look it. We chatted for a while, and she reminded me of a bunch of things: that I’ll never go back to where I was, it’s only a few pounds, etc. Those sound trite, but they helped. 

We talked about me keeping a food journal for a few days to be more mindful of what I’m eating. As I stared into our office fridge yesterday, I realized how not mindful I’ve been. How one handful of almonds has turned into another; how I wander over to the fridge to break off a little piece of my dark chocolate (and then do the same when I walk Bailey at lunch), how I snack on chips when I get home from work and open a bottle of wine for a glass to wind down when I get home. 

And all those little things add up. I’ve been so mindful of those since talking to Michelle. I’ve also thought of things I’ve read on Anne’s blog about mindless/emotional eating. Do I really want to eat ___ sugary/crappy thing, or do I just need to get up from my computer for a few minutes? Am I hungry enough to eat an apple right now?

This morning, I took Steph Nieman’s demo class at Peloton. I first met Steph at Uplift (shocker), and I LOVED her. She’s taught at Soul Cycle, Flywheel, Revolve, Barry’s, probably a few other places too? She left NYC for a few months but is BACK and at Peloton.

Peloton is some super fancy bike you can buy for your home and stream workouts right to your home. I live in Manhattan so don’t have room for a bike (and would rather spend that money on classes or shoes) but what a cool idea! I loved her energy at Uplift, but it was seriously off the charts at Peloton. It seems like on the bike is where she truly excels. Her playlist rocked, and the class was filled with her friends (and my coworkers.) There was quite a bit of woo-ing, and I definitely mouthed along when Party in the U.S.A. came on. We were on regular bikes, but she taught on the fancy bike, and our entire class was livestreamed to some people somewhere with Peloton bikes. I hopped up on the instructor bike after class, and DAMN that bike was nice. The ride felt, so so smooth. Peloton actually started as a Kickstarter – read more about them here. 

 

I walked out endorphin-hammered, and we walked back to work. I showered at work (I recognize what a weird statement that is, too), and felt an awesome, unfamiliar feeling as I pulled on my jeans: my stomach felt strong, not bloated. It was just one class, but I feel like I’m turning a corner here. In Chelsea’s class last night, she told us “if your abs are burning, it’s because they’re getting stronger.” And, well, my abs were en fuego.

Oh, and I did a 2:00 plank at a New Balance event the other night. (Brittany did a 5:00 plank to win a pair of shoes, NBD.) I’d already worked out with Leanne that day, so I felt especially awesome that I PR-ed in my plank. 

This weekend’s goals: have fun, don’t ruin all that hard work/progress with eating stuff that doesn’t make me feel awesome, take a rest day Sunday (I’ve been having so much fun with my workouts lately that I haven’t taken a rest day since….?) 

Have you ever felt yourself turning a fitness corner? How/when? 

12 comments on “Turning a Corner

  1. Ash Bear

    Kath (Katheats) told me years ago that when she was trying to lose weight she used the thought of “am I so hungry that I want to eat canned green beans.” It sounds crazy but it works and in fact tonight after dinner Bo and I were both a bit hungry still and Bo used this saying on me as I shared it with him years ago. An hour later once our food settled neither of us were really hungry we just weren’t overly full. After years of eating until uncomfortable point this is a nice feeling to remember – especially on the weekend. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Gwen

    This comment is everything – it is the key: “…don’t ruin all that hard work/progress with eating stuff that doesn’t make me feel awesome….” That’s definitely what I need and will be focusing on! Thanks for the reminder and inspiration! Xo

    Reply
  3. Rachel

    Thank you for sharing this. We’ve all been there at one time! This post is so encouraging. Life/fitness is a journey not a destination.

    Reply
  4. Abi@AbsofSteel

    I’ve turned a couple of fitness corner’s in the past year in terms of diet, exercise, and mental attitude. I’m also on a sort of similar boat with reevaluating my eating habits and figuring out how to eat in a way that is honest to my body. I feel like I’ve probably turned many corners when it comes to healthier eating yet I still manage to have more work to do, apparently it’s a really long and angular hallway.

    Reply
  5. Valerie

    Lifting weights turned the corner for me. It took a while to get into it but I got to the point past the point where the bulked up guys were lifting the barbells off the rack for me (I did it myself).

    The guys who write the NROL (new rules of lifting) series wrote one for women. The more I lifted, the faster the weight came off.

    Sadly, I moved to a town where the closest fitness center is too expensive for me to handle. So I moved to the occasional Jillian DVD.

    Reply
  6. Kristina

    I do think that changing things up can really help fitness levels.
    As for my corner – I had a 20 minute lactate threshold test yesterday on the bike which I was dreading all day long, but I ended up being quite impressed with my avg heart rate and my max . I pushed way past my expected threshold! The bad news about this – it means that I really don’t push myself on the bike on a regular basis. Yep, I just learned how lazy I am. Damn, that hurts!

    Reply
  7. Anne @fANNEtasticfood

    I <3 you! I am so happy to hear you've been working on mindful eating (and mindfulness in general!). It makes SUCH a difference with my clients to just have them pause for a moment and think about what they really need in that moment. I find this to be especially true in the afternoons. Your brain starts saying "hunger" but really it means "I need to not stare at this computer for a few minutes – let's take a walking break. Or go talk to someone. Or ask for a hug because I'm overwhelmed. Or…."

    Keep it up 🙂

    Reply
  8. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More

    Sometimes I think I’ve been in a similar boat. I ran 13 races last year (of varying distances) but I was constantly in my top running shape with my running metabolism burning like fossil fuel. And that just hasn’t been the case lately. I’m running but not to the same extent but I’m not sure that my eating has changed either. I definitely need to work on the mindless eating and ensuring I’m actually hungry when I eat. Working from home has definitely made that more challenging…

    Reply
  9. George Godin

    Hello there!

    I have to agree that we really need to keep a food journal so that we can monitor the foods we are eating. Thank you very much for sharing this article and I am really looking forward to read more of your posts.

    Reply
  10. Katie Hearn

    I’m a big believer in food journals. My mantra is: “If you bite it, write it!” So, even if I track something like 1/8th serving of M&Ms, the calories still count. It helps me to realize just how much those little things add up–and how they’re okay in moderation 🙂

    Reply
  11. Patty @ Reach Your Peak

    Oh man I can totally relate to this. I have also taken a break from running since NYCM. It is way too cold and icy out. and while I have run a few times at the gym, it’s only been 2-3 miles because I hate the treadmill.

    I have been lifting a lot more, and have PRed in lifts like bench press and squats..and that’s cool and all but I also get self conscious about my body because I have gained weight. It’s frustrating but I remind myself of what I’d tell my clients…that it could be muscle that you have gained that makes you “heavier”, and also that you should focus on how strong you are. and like you said, keep a food diary so you know what you’re intake is.

    That being said, I am starting today in terms of writing down what I eat and stuff, because I have been doing the mindless eating thing a lot. Oh it’s 3 and I’m craving some cookies? I’ll go to the vending machine. ='(

    We got this!

    Reply

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