“Are you a runner?” is something I get asked quite frequently in the summertime. And, not to toot my own horn (well, toot toot!) I know the question is sparked by admiration of my muscular legs—particularly my calves. Albeit short, my stems are by far my favorite body part!
Anyway, I woke up yesterday morning at 5:30am and hopped out of bed to write a “Lose Weight Without Dieting” post for my friend Sabrina’s blog, A New Mode. I felt charged and excited as I worked towards crossing something off my long To-Do list before the sun came up. After I finished, I made a smoothie for Luke and started changing into my workout clothes. But as soon as he left for work, my motivation dropped and suddenly I was back in bed under the covers—sports bra and all! I let myself sleep for 30 blissful minutes (that actually felt like three) and forced myself out of bed. I didn’t have time to run, but I did manage a 15-minute mat workout in my apartment that included lots of pushups, planks, plank pushups, stretching and glute work. (Single-leg squats…yeah, baby!)
I got my heart rate up and broke a teensy sweat, but more importantly, I did something. I am a HUGE advocate of small efforts yielding big results. A quick workout like that might not blast many calories, but the act of putting my workout clothes on, tying my hair back and just moving helps me keep up my normal routine—and it certainly helps keep me in my happy place! So, the next time you only have 20 minutes to exercise and you start talking yourself out of doing it because “What difference will it make?”—just remember: It will make THE difference. One healthy act makes it easier to make the next one. This much I know.
On my commute home from work, I started thinking about what I had in the fridge to make for dinner. Hmm…not much. And then it hit me: Yogurt-Stuffed Sweet Potato. Boom. I always say, if there’s a sweet potato in the house, you have yourself a meal. Same goes for eggs. I popped that sucker in the oven at 400F, but instead of tapping my fingers and looking at friends’ baby/dog/food/vacation photos on Facebook while I waited, I decided to lace up my sneakers. Luke came through the door, I gave him a kiss and I was off!
I did a 5-minute warmup walk, then cranked out a steady two miles at a 9-minute pace along the East River and walked home, another five minutes. Was it the workout of my life? No. Did I feel good after it was over? Yes. I worked up a pretty good sweat!
I like my sweet potatoes really mushy and soft, so it still wasn’t ready when I came home. Again, I used my time wisely and started putting lunch together for work the next day. I was able to muster up a pretty decent meal considering the fridge was so scarce. I took a portion of the big batch of brown rice I made the other day and added Farmer’s Market cherry tomatoes, chopped spinach, carrots, a dab hummus, plenty of black pepper and a hard boiled egg on top. I think I’ll need a piece of fruit to go with that, too!
So there you have it, folks—a day-in-the-life of a Wannabe Health Nut. This is how I handle minor setbacks, plan ahead and use my time wisely. Tomorrow, who knows…I could be eating froyo for dinner. But I take it one day at a time and keep on keepin’ on!
Tell me: How do you squeeze in exercise and plan your meals? Any go-to workouts or recipes you have up your sleeve? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!