Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
The ugly truth on this day is that I only did 1.5 miles on the hamster wheel. I was late to drop the kids off and couldn't make myself go, then couldn't make myself stay. And still can't make myself care. Hell, it got done.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
By Clint Carter
You can't go anywhere without being confronted by calories. Restaurants now print calorie counts on menus. You go to the supermarket and there they are, stamped on every box and bottle. You hop on the treadmill and watch your "calories burned" click upward.
But just what are calories? The more calories we take in, the more flab we add—and if we cut back on them, then flab starts to recede too, right? After all, at face value, calories seem to be the factor by which all foods should be judged. But if that were true, 500 calories of parsnips would equal 500 calories of Double Stuf Oreos.
Not quite. There's nothing simple about calories. Learn the distinctions and lose the lard.
Myth #1: Calories Fuel Our Bodies
Actually, they don't
A calorie is simply a unit of measurement for heat; in the early 19th century, it was used to explain the theory of heat conservation and steam engines. The term entered the food world around 1890, when the USDA appropriated it for a report on nutrition. Specifically, a calorie was defined as the unit of heat required to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.
To apply this concept to foods like sandwiches, scientists used to set food on fire (really!) and then gauge how well the flaming sample warmed a water bath. The warmer the water, the more calories the food contained. (Today, a food's calorie count is estimated from its carbohydrate, protein, and fat content.) In the calorie's leap to nutrition, its definition evolved. The calorie we now see cited on nutrition labels is the amount of heat required to raise 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius.
Here's the problem: Your body isn't a steam engine. Instead of heat, it runs on chemical energy, fueled by the oxidation of carbohydrates, fat, and protein that occurs in your cells' mitochondria. "You could say mitochondria are like small power plants," says Maciej Buchowski, Ph.D., a research professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University medical center. "Instead of one central plant, you have several billion, so it's more efficient."
Track carbohydrates, fats, and protein—not just calories—when you're evaluating foods.
Myth #2: All Calories Are Created Equal
Our fuel comes from three sources: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. "They're handled by the body differently," says Alan Aragon, M.S., aMen's Healthnutrition advisor. So that old "calories in, calories out" formula can be misleading, he says. "Carbohydrates, protein, and fat have different effects on the equation."
Example: For every 100 carbohydrate calories you consume, your body expends 5 to 10 in digestion. With fats, you expend slightly less (although thin people seem to break down more fat than heavy people do). The calorie-burn champion is protein: For every 100 protein calories you consume, your body needs 20 to 30 for digestion, Buchowski says. Carbohydrates and fat give up their calories easily: They're built to supply quick energy. In effect, carbs and fat yield more usable energy than protein does.
If you want to lose weight, make protein a priority at every meal. Adding them to snacks—especially before you exercise—can help too.
Try these 5 perfect protein-packed gym-ready snacks .
Myth #3: A Calorie Ingested is a Calorie Digested
It's not that simple
Just because the food is swallowed doesn't mean it will be digested. It passes through your stomach and then reaches your small intestine, which slurps up all the nutrients it can through its spongy walls. But 5 to 10 percent of calories slide through unabsorbed. Fat digestion is relatively efficient—fat easily enters your intestinal walls. As for protein, animal sources are more digestible than plant sources, so a top sirloin's protein will be better absorbed than tofu's.
Different carbs are processed at different rates, too: Glucose and starch are rapidly absorbed, while fiber dawdles in the digestive tract. In fact, the insoluble fiber in some complex carbs, such as that in vegetables and whole grains, tends to block the absorption of other calories. "With a very high-fiber diet, say 60 grams a day, you might lose as much as 20 percent of the calories you consume," says Wanda Howell, Ph.D., a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Arizona.
So a useful measure of calories is difficult. A lab technician might find that a piece of rock candy and a piece of broccoli have the same number of calories. But in action, the broccoli's fiber ensures that the vegetable contributes less energy. A study in theJournal of Nutritionfound that a high-fiber diet leaves roughly twice as many calories undigested as a low-fiber diet does. And fewer calories means less flab.
Aim to consume at least 35 to 40 grams of fiber every day. That being said, not all fiber is created equal.
Read "The Truth About Fiber" to find out even more need-to-know facts about this nutrient .
Myth #4: Exercise Burns Most of Our Calories
Not even close
Even the most fanatical fitness nuts burn no more than 30 percent of their daily calories at the gym. Most of your calories burn at a constant simmer, fueling the automated processes that keep you alive—that is, your basal metabolism, says Warren Willey, D.O., author ofBetter Than Steroids. If you want to burn fuel, hit the gas in your everyday activities.
"Some 60 to 70 percent of our total caloric expenditure goes toward normal bodily functions," says Howell. This includes replacing old tissue, transporting oxygen, mending minor shaving wounds, and so on. For men, these processes require about 11 calories per pound of body weight a day, so a 200-pound man will incinerate 2,200 calories a day—even if he sat in front of the TV all day.
And then there are the calories you lose to N.E.A.T., or nonexercise activity thermo-genesis. N.E.A.T. consists of the countless daily motions you make outside the gym—the calories you burn while making breakfast, playing Nerf football in the office, or chasing the bus. Brandon Alderman, Ph.D., director of the exercise psychophysiology lab at Rutgers University, says emerging evidence suggests that "a conscious effort to spend more time on your feet might net a greater calorie burn than 30 minutes of daily exercise."
Need more suggestions? Here are 4 ways to harness the power of N.E.A.T .
Take frequent breaks from your desk (and couch) to move your body and burn bonus calories.
Myth #5: Low-Calories Foods Help You Lose Weight
Processed low-calorie foods can be weak allies in the weight-loss war. Take sugar-free foods. Omitting sugar is perhaps the easiest way to cut calories. But food manufacturers generally replace those sugars with calorie-free sweeteners, such as sucralose or aspartame. And artificial sweeteners can backfire. One University of Texas study found that consuming as few as three diet sodas a week increases a person's risk of obesity by more than 40 percent. And in a 2008 Purdue study, rats that ate artificially sweetened yogurt took in more calories at subsequent meals, resulting in more flab. The theory is that the promise of sugar—without the caloric payoff—may actually lead to overeating.
"Too many people are counting calories instead of focusing on the content of food," says Alderman. "This just misses the boat."
Avoid artificial sweeteners and load up your plate with the bona fide low-calorie saviors: fruits and vegetables.
I can't take the pressure of having to go every day. It takes away my enjoyment. And my opportunities to drink beer. So yes I did not go Friday or Saturday. For no good reason except that Friday I wanted to drink beer and yesterday I just damn well didn't feel like it. However, this morning I found myself awake at the ungodly hour of 745am on a Sunday so I decided to go for a run outside. It was a beautiful morning with a gentle breeze blowing. I did 3.5, walking most of the last mille as fat dog and I enjoyed the morning.
I do admire the mental fortitude of those who successfully complete Juneathon and I look forward to reading about their success. And I intend to keep trying. I think part of the lesson of Juneathon is to get back on the proverbial horse after you've fallen off. To keep plugging away at it.
"You got to know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to RUN." - Kenny Rogers, The Gambler
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Update: Jessica came over with the dog and we walked 1.68 miles. It was pretty leisurely but it's better than nothing.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
I went to the gym after work today and did a slow and gentle 2.5 at 2,1,0 incline, walked the last half mile. My stomach seems to be hanging in there so that's a good sign.
P.S. If anyone is wondering why I can't go running/walking outside if I sleep past dawn, it's because I live in Tucson. As soon as the sun comes up, the temperature skyrockets at this time of year.
I had a sort of crazy idea when I was driving home from work yesterday that I would like to have a week where I do 26.2 miles. I thought maybe I would try that this week, but I don't want to hurt myself. Maybe that will be the goal for the last week of Juneathon.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
2. I opted for a snug belted skirt with a mock turtleneck and heels for work, which aren't conducive for changing back into when sweaty after the gym. So lunch was out.
3. I worked until 6 and agreed to let J have a friend over to swim, so I couldn't go straight after work.
4. I got home and had 2 bowls of whole grain chocolate Cheerios and about 20 cherries.
5. I decided to go running after dinner, which is never a good idea, but particularly not after eating cherries with clogged up plumbing.
6. I had to use the bathroom at the neighborhood park.
7. I walked home.
8. But, it got done.
"When you feel close to sellin' out, reconsider.". - some country singer gal I need to look up (Leann Womack that is, thanks Dad!)
I was reading this blog, by this penguin guy, and this line really struck me: “I miss the regular, consistent glimpse into the best of who I am that I get when I’m running.” And I thought about this morning, when I had a very small victory. Just running three miles, doing the intervals I planned….. outside. Outside has been a big challenge for me with running. For multiple reasons, most of which are too boring to get into. But this morning, I woke up and knew I had planned this run, and I really didn’t want to go.
“Running in my neighborhood is a bad idea…. there might be people out there. They will probably be on their porches drinking coffee. They will see me. They will laugh, or be disgusted. They might throw things at me or yell at me. I’ll look stupid, I’ll feel stupid and since this is my own neighborhood everyone will know who I am and where I live.”
This is just sample of the terrible things that go through my head when I am attempting to push the limits of what I think I can do. Irrational, yes. But probably not unusual. I think lots of people have those voices. And I think lots of people listen. I listen sometimes.
And when I read that line on John Bingham’s blog, I thought about this morning. And I thought that the fact that I have these voices, these challenges, these insecurities, that part of my journey is to have to struggle so hard against my own mind. And I thought that the fact that I hear these things in my head, and I got up anyway, and I ran anyway, and I did exactly what I had planned to do, that I decided to defy those voices and TRY, is one of those glimpses into the best of who I am. And it is definitely one of the things that keeps me going.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
"On the outside, you're free to roam. On the outside, we found a home."
Admittedly, this hasn't been my general experience as a runner. I've been running, albeit slowly, since I was 10. But this hit me today because I decided to ride my bike instead of run. I bought a road bike last year with the fancy clippy shoes and all, and I've ridden it exactly twice. I did 11.5 miles on a rather hilly route, and the hills were pretty tough. I got passed by several other bikers out on the road. I felt occasionally stared at and was convinced that I was pedaling wrong, or my posture incorrect, or I was going hilariously slowly, betraying my newbie status. I felt that way when I started swimming too - convinced that others were staring at me, criticizing my strokes, and feeling generally quite foolish with my belly rolling over my swimsuit. I still do often when I get in the pool surrounded by the graceful and powerful swimmers at my gym. Even running at the gym, I am so much slower and less svelte than the "legit" crowd. I am not like them. I am an Outsider.
Monday, June 6, 2011
I'm thinking about counting calories again, to lose weight. 1800 calories a day should let me lose 1 - 2 lbs per week, if I keep exercising. That is plenty of calories if I make good choices. All I can do is try, and keep saying I won't back down!
Yesterday my favorite pants got a hole in the inner thigh and I chafed a bit. Then I came home and proceeded to have a complete and total meltdown. I told Marianne I needed to go get new pants and she said she already had some for me. They were too big for her. I didn't try them on because I was so upset about my favorite pants having a hole. I just cried and went back to bed, because here's the thing - those pants are made out of something that holds my shirt down, and keeps it from bunching up around my waist. In other words, it covers my ass and my belly. This is something that is important to me. It makes me feel OK about going outside where people can see me. I knew those pants were wearing out - I have patched the inner thighs once already - and I've been looking for months for similar pants. I haven't been able to find any sticky ones like that pair. Just slippery ones that let the shirt slip right up to my waist. I'm pear shaped, you see, and no matter how big my running shirts are, they do not fit loosely around my lower half. So I was going to have to go running outside where people could see me, with my shirt bunched up around my waist, and my ass and belly just hanging out there. So I really really really didn't want to go, and I put it off as long as I could. Finally I went upstairs to change, and guess what! The pants Marianne gave me are sticky!!! My mood has improved considerably since then. I guess the whole thing might sound silly, but for me, exercise is hard enough already. If I'm going to allow myself to be seen, then I have to feel ok about how I look. So if I need sticky pants, then I need sticky pants. And Nike, the goddess of swiftness, has provided them for me through my sister. Woot!
3x pilates core conditioning
I did 2 miles outside at 7am this morning. They were difficult miles with heavy labored breathing and lots of sweat. I should have had something to drink before I went, as I'm pretty dehydrated after the last couple days of misery. I jogged real slow and and took a couple walk breaks in the last mile, but I got 'er done.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I did 2 miles outside this morning at 6:30, takin it easy if you will, due to my disease. That's right, I got a fancy diagnosis yesterday at the doctor - "Piriformis Syndrome". This is an affliction of the buttock wherein the sciatic nerve is agitated as it passes through a cramped priformis muscle, located deep in the buttock. This explains my butt cheek malady and all of my whining these last couple months. And, its likely due not to my fall, but to my attempt to run up and down a mountain, causing severe stress to my piriformis muscle. I'm going to reqest an accommodation for my new disability at work today. I think what I need is a massaging heated chair and a part-time schedule with full pay. Whilst some may argue that I already have that schedule, to you I say this is some serious shit, people! This is Juneathon!! I cannot be sidelined by the afflictions of my weak ass!!
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I should have walked 2 1/4 miles today. But instead I ate rice bowl and cold cereal because fuck that.It's just funny..... back then I was walking 16 minute miles. Now, I am jogging/walking 12 minute miles, but I still am all "fuck that."