[musicmonday] <–look, it’s back! // WERKOUT MIXES

After working on my new Etsy site all morning, I was starting to feel a little lethargic (I’ll be honest, I was still in my PJs at lunchtime). Which is the absolute WORST when you’re trying to accomplish anything.

So I decided to go get on the treadmill.

I grabbed a water bottle, towel and my iPod, then headed out the door toward the little gym provided by my apartment complex. I figured I may as well take advantage of the facilities (however meager) while they’re available to me (did I mention I’m moving in February).

Poor Decisions

I have a mix on my iPod specifically for working out. It’s full of upbeat songs that help me get into a rhythm while I’m running and inspire me when I’m feeling tired. It has about 100 songs on it, and I have to admit, I’ve been getting a little tired of predicting each song as I’m running.

Today I decided to branch out. I put my iPod (which has nearly 12,000 songs on it) on shuffle. This was a poor decision.

It’s never good to settle. Especially when it’s Alkaline Trio.

It started out OK. I warmed up to “Single Again” by Fiery Furnaces, got annoyed with it 30 seconds from the end and landed on a song by The Faint about gang rape. Alright. I can only take so much gang rape in my music. Especially when I’m trying to be superwoman on the treadmill. Switched it one minute in and got “Not Great Men” by Gang of Four. Acceptable. Until it overlapped with a speed increase on the treadmill, but the rhythm of the music stayed the same.

Then it started to get really bad. I shuffled through Miles Davis, Beirut, Appleseed Cast, a slow Beatles song, paused at a Justice song for 30 seconds to see if it would pick up. It never did. Finally, after skipping a dozen different songs, I settled. For Alkaline Trio. I felt so uninspired that I cut my workout sesh short and cooled down to At the Drive-in. Yeah. At the Drive-in.

Moral of the story

Always eat your vegetables. Oh yeah, and I have a workout mix for a reason. Its hand-picked upbeat songs inspire me to work harder and get in rhythm with my footfalls and my breathing. Sometimes it’s not a good idea to stray from methods that work. I’m still in the process of updating my workout mix, but this time, I’m doing it off of the treadmill.


Goal 1: Establishing a Fitness Program

TO TACKLE MY HEALTH & FITNESS GOALS I’ve decided to pursue a couple of things:

First, I am going to further my practice of yoga by attending at least one class a week, culminating in a teacher training course in mid June. This is something I’ve been considering doing ever since I began attending regular yoga classes in Montreal a year ago, and besides the benefits to my physical health, teaching yoga will help me grow spiritually as well.

Second, I plan to take up kickboxing, a sport in which I’ve always been interested – mostly because other martial arts I’ve tried move too slowly for me (I’m too ADD to try to perfect one move for the duration of an entire class). Not to mention, kickboxing is great for losing weight! Because of the interval-style training and the fast-paced competitive environment, you can burn between 600-800 calories in just one hour.

I bought a Groupon for ATA Martial Arts Kickboxing classes, and attended my first class last week. Loud pump-up music blared during our class with buzzers, bells, and countdowns played over it to signify when to change exercises. I learned some new exercises with nothing but a band, and I got to beat the sh*t out of a punching bag. What more could you want in a workout? The next day, though, I felt like I was 80 years old. Well, no pain, no gain, right?

As a side note, for those of you interested in trying it out but afraid to be the uncoordinated or unathletic one, the majority of my classmates were actually middle-aged women trying to get in shape. So don’t be intimidated! Go sign up. Ilovekickboxing.com has all kinds of deals running all the time.

Additionally, I’m finally taking care of my knee issues by going to physical therapy once a week so they can teach me exercises that will strengthen my knees and the muscles around them. They also give me lots of free things like exercise bands and pieces of styrofoam to roll around on (no really, this thing gives a killer massage). Once my knees get the OK from PT, I’d also like to start running again, and maybe even run a couple 5Ks. I’ve found that whenever I have a goal to work towards (even a small one), doing the work doesn’t seem nearly as daunting.

FOR ME, EATING WELL IS MORE DIFFICULT than keeping up a fitness routine. Ever since I started counting calories this past Christmas, I’ve been on a roller coaster of resolve. While I’ve been able to gradually change what I eat, I still find it difficult to control how much of it I eat. It’s all the snacking that gets me. I’d like to think that it’s our snacking culture that is the (or one of the) true culprit in American obesity.

When I studied abroad in France, my host mom asked me once why I was eating in the middle of the day. “It’s not meal time,” she said. This apparently makes sense to the rest of the world, but not here in the US of A. To be fair, I think that healthy snacks eaten at specific times of the day to ward off hunger are a good thing. For example, lately I’ve planned two healthy snacks (I love SlimFast snack bars – they taste like candy bars!) between breakfast at 7:30 and lunch at 1:30. This has prevented me from, say, buying a candy bar and a soda from the vending machine to try to assuage my hunger. And I eat them only when I am starting to feel hungry, not because I feel like eating.

IT’S THIS MINDLESS SNACKING THAT WE NEED TO AVOID. When I began tracking my meals, I became much more aware of how much each food is “worth” so to speak. Here’s a little list I came up with to help put things into perspective.

Foods that have 100 calories (aka 15 minutes on the treadmill):

  • 1 medium-sized banana
  • 1 average-sized (non specialty) slice of bread
  • 1 packet of mayo
  • 3-4 large tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz glass of 1% milk
  • 1 10 oz can of beets
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 1/2 Tagalong Girl Scout cookies
  • 1 1/4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 1 shot of tequila
  • 4 Tostitos Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips
  • 1 slice of sandwich cheese

Be my buddy on My Fitness Pal.

Read more on my goals.