I have a confession to make.
So you know how I talk a lot about body image and how weight loss shouldn’t be the sole focus of our fitness mission?
Constantly having that message floating around in my brain and constantly writing about it started to make me feel like it would never be OK for weight loss to be a part of my own goals again.
If I’m telling you not to worry about losing weight, then what business do I have trying to lose weight?
But if I’m being honest, and I always will be here, weight loss—or actually, I should say fat loss—is absolutely a part of my goal right now.
I don’t want to say weight loss because I don’t own a scale and don’t plan on weighing myself (mostly because I quite literally can’t) through this process. However, over the course of the past few months, while my workout routine has been regular and on point, my eating habits haven’t, and I’m noticing it in the form of an extra bit of “pudge,” if you will, in my tummy—which by the way, like many women, is basically my body’s go-to spot for storing fat. Thank you, genetics.
So, in essence, my goal is to reduce my waistline. Or, another way to put it, make my pants fit a little bit less tight.
Another confession: even though losing fat (or weight, whatever you want to call it) was a goal of mine when I started this blog (and was actually part of the reason it came to life in the first place), I kind of hate talking about this subject now.
I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it has something to do with the fact that pretty much everyone I know IRL reads Hungry Runner now. Where as, when I first started I was pretty much an anonymous contributor on Tumblr. Oh how the times have changed!
Anyway, those changes are for the better, so I’m going to work on getting over my hesitations about talking about weight loss and just embrace the fact that yes, I am currently a poster child for one of my least favorite fitness headlines: get in shape for summer.
(image via eatingbirdfood.com)
Because yes, right now, one of my biggest sources of motivation is the fact that beach and bikini season is approaching quickly. (I’m only human, OK?)
That said, I’m also keeping in mind that I feel my best—confident, empowered, motivated, energized, happy—when I work hard (both in the gym and on my eating habits) to stay in tip-top shape.
What I realized, though: no, weight loss and your outward appearance shouldn’t be your sole motivator when it comes to exercising and eating well, because that will only get you so far. You need something bigger, deeper and more powerful to keep you going in the long-term.
Also, and I’ve talked about this in the past before, you shouldn’t put an expiration date on fitness or health. The ultimate goal is to build a healthy lifestyle that will last a lifetime. (OK, I kind of hate how kitschy and cliche that sounds, but IT’S THE TRUTH, so deal with it.)
But also, none of that means that you can’t use a little bit of vanity to fuel your fire.
So, with that in mind, what’s my plan of action?
Well, my mission started just after I moved into my new place in Brooklyn about three and half weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been running about four days a week, with two-and-half to four mile runs on weekday mornings and longer five- or six-mile runs on Saturdays. On the days that I’m not running I’ve been doing bodyweight workouts (stay tuned for those in future posts) and yoga.
I’m going to continue with a similar schedule going forward, except instead of bodyweight workouts at home on non-running days, over the next four weeks I’ll be attending a handful of different group exercise studio classes thanks to the folks at FitReserve who so graciously offered me a one-month membership for free.
Side note: If you live in New York City and love group exercise studio classes, FitReserve is a great way to get access to lots of different classes at a discount. The monthly membership (which gives you access to 10 classes per month) is $119, so that’s just under $12 per class. Considering most boutique studio classes are $25 and up, that’s a pretty sweet deal.
So, that’s my exercise plan of action. As far as my eating habits go, I’m not dieting or going on a diet or anything like that. I’m simply reverting back to the basics of mindful and intuitive eating and also using MyFitnessPal as a way to hold myself accountable about what I’m really eating.
Other than that, I’ve set a few guidelines for myself that will help me avoid overdoing the things that threw me off track in the first place. For example, beer, added sugar and failing to pay attention to portion sizes—aka, no more eating peanut butter straight out of the jar 😉 Catch my drift?
Anyway, that’s where I’m at right now.
And if you guys have any questions on the subject of “getting in shape for summer,” and by that I mean, getting in shape or losing some weight, please let me know in the comments!
I want to know what you want help with because that’s what my blog posts will be all about for the next few weeks… and well, always. Duh!
In the meantime, stay tuned for my bodyweight workouts, healthy breakfast ideas and some new recipes coming soon!
P.S. A funny story: As I was writing this post, Mark was sitting next to me scrolling through “30 Grilled Cheeses Sandwiches You Didn’t Know Could Possibly Exist,” featuring overly decadent recipes such as cream cheese and Nutella “grilled cheese,” mac ‘n cheese grilled cheese, bacon guacamole grilled cheese and loaded nacho grilled cheese. Not that you couldn’t enjoy something like that and still stick to your “get in shape” goals, but it’s still pretty ironic in a very hilarious way, no?
Until next time, stay hungry and happy!