So things are going pretty well, except for the fact that I forget to write it on the blog. I’m running, I’m sort of controlling my diet. ok, every things not perfect but i’m moving forward. I am running regularly, I’m eating more normally, though not following the plan 100%. and I had a really really shitty long run last weekend. The upside of having a shitty run is that instead of wanting to quit I’ve been longing for Sunday to come so I can do another long run and WIPE THE MEMORY OF THE 16 MILE ATTEMPT out of my mind!
While I was at school last night we had a career development class. We were talking about marketing and goals and branding yourself and I had an idea – not necessarily for my cosmetology career but for me as a performer and my brand as a person. I’ve always branded myself as a fitness girl, prided myself on my strength and lean look and worked for it. Over this past year after injury, burnout, moving all over the place, intestinal problems and just a feeling of “blech” I’ve gained weight lost momentum and I’ve been feeling less than – for a while now. Like it’ll be a year in October. I had head shots done when I first moved to vegas because I had changed my hair colour to blonde but I requested no body shots as I wasn’t proud of my body at the time.
During the class last night it hit me. Tomorrow was September 1 (today) and in 3 months it would be December 1 – one month until the new year. I could schedule a photo shoot for myself on December 1 (or thereabouts) where I could really address my brand – as a dancer and cosmetologist. Take body shots, action shots, new head shots. It would allow me to create and follow a 3 month diet and exercise plan to deliver me on December 1st looking and feeling the way I want to feel. What is planned for is gained. I can’t keep on hoping to look and feel better, I have to write it out and make a map. Then I’ll follow the map. It gives me a full 3 months to really distill what I want my “look” and my brand to be and how I want to enter into 2017.
So I devised a model plan that I think is doable for me and my goals and abilities. What do I want?
- lose 20lbs of fat and muscle combined. I don’t think I can lose 20lbs of just fat, it’ll take some muscle with it too, but that’s ok with me.
- Define, define define. I need to see more ab definition, leg definition and arm tone.
- flexibility. not just ambiguous I want a to hold my scorpion and royal dancer pose for a camera shot.
How will I do this?
- very specific diet – followed and recorded in MFP
- Marathon training through December – even though the marathon is in November. The training will continue through to December 1 (thats just 2 weeks after the marathon)
- yoga, stretching and abs 3 times a week. This can include the aerial yoga classes I like to take when my friend teaches them🙂 I can’t always take them because of work but when I can I’m a happy girl.
What is the diet?
I found inspiration in a few places= website that detailed a guys 8 weeks to abs diet – strict paleo, limited fruit + targeted cardio and workouts, my ex’s model shoot diet, the few vegan fitness diets I’d paid for and never used, advice from a handful of career dancers I trust. I played with them myself and made a mash up that I believe will carry me to the finish line looking lean and happy.
The diet is:
- vegan. mostly. I am vegan, I’m happiest vegan. But I’ve told myself if I am traveling and there is NOTHING vegan I can eat that fits into my plan and makes me feel good then c’est la vie – eggs could happen. and that’s ok (but not what I’m planning for. it’s my fail safe)
- it’s a paleo like vegan diet – vegetables other than roots, minimal raw fruits (not dried cuz I inhale that like candy), tofu/seitan/protein powder, seeds. So in the end its like higher protein, no grains/breads/pastas/corn/sugar. lots of water. The shake down for me is going to look like this: coffee and a banana for breakfast on the go/ protein shake/ salad with tofu/ another protein shake or a banana/ dinner of steamed vegetables and shiritaki noodles (my new favourite thing) maybe with tofu or seitan/ baby carrots and cucumbers for snacks. You know, typical. but everything will be measured and the plan is to stick to a 1200 calorie daily diet every day but sunday. Sunday things change slightly for 2 reasons – I do well with a “cheat” like day, Sundays I do a long run with a friend. So Sunday I start my morning with a long run (11 miles is coming this sunday) and then I shall call it sushi and fro yo sunday. I love vegetable sushi – love love love. So I get to have rice in my sushi and fro yo, just on sundays. It gives me something to look forward to, it’ll spike up my calories, replenish my glycogen stores and make me happy🙂 I’m wondering if it should be sushi saturday so I have said glycogen stores in there FOR the long run. Oh and I’ll bring shot blocks or GU’s for my long runs so my calories will rise – no real cap. other than sushi and fro yo and shot blocks my food will be the same on Sundays.
- stay consistent for 3 MONTHS. no changing diets, no grains, no cakes, no nothing extra. its only 3 months and then I get my photo shoot.
- lots of water, green tea, coffee is allowed with measured soy milk/creamer
- a vision board is necessary.
- I’ll be keeping it all on this blog so you and I can follow along and see how its going and the results.
Now I have to go book the photographer and I know just who I want!! She did my head shots when I first moved to vegas. She’s quite good and a dancer herself. YES! Day 1, lets get started.
I kinda slept through my alarm so my morning run didn’t happen. I’m going to take the puppy out and hit the elliptical instead as it’s already 100 degrees outside…..
Things are feeling really good now. I’m about to be able to keep a somewhat stable schedule for a while. I’ve changed a lot of things. The first few months here in vegas have been trial and error. I just switched to night school which will take me longer to get through but my life will be a bit more manageable. I just started my job as a singing gondolier. I’ll only be working 2-3 days a week but that’s enough. And I just started running again. Found a running partner (by accident) who’s keen to run the Rock n Roll Marathon in 11 weeks. And I’ve never run a marathon and ran my one and only half marathon 6 years ago. However we did a trial long run today and i JUST did a cool 9 miler (20 minutes ago) fairly easily so I agreed to sign up. Whats the worst that can happen? I don’t finish? That’s not a terrible result. But I have long run buddy every weekend and a race to look forward to. And I’ve been taking some yoga and I’m kinda locked in to a saturday night aerial yoga class. My aerial fitness is ready to be used again. A break seems to be just what I needed. So there you have it thats all I’m going to focus on now – marathon training, aerial/yoga and school school school. Plus work and home life. So still busy but more diversely and my happiness has increased🙂 I’ll try to keep up with the training log here.
Ciao for now – I’m going to go shower and ice my hammies
…but not yet. Wow, I haven’t been this busy in a really long time. The days are kicking my ass but they’re good. I went straight from school/rehearsals to working a special event for Paul Mitchell. I’m so stoked and honoured! But I am tired. And I haven’t worked out in exactly a week which is like a year in Crista-land. Although putting that in writing makes me feel not so bad. One week of no formal workouts is not a big deal.
I hate keto. Hate it. I love not being depressed and I love my stomach not feeling great. I hate being the same weight as my highest weight. I hate eating things I disagree with morally to wake up the same weight I was before (Sounds shallow, but I’m being honest). I haven’t lost so much as an ounce and my eating is super limiting. two weeks of keto and not a half a pound down? No thank you. I abhor not being vegan. I choke down meat and cheese. And. My. pants. Still. Don’t. Fit. See, super annoying.
So fuck it, I’m vegan. I just can’t. I’ve hated my body and you know what, if this is where it’s at fine, I call off the hate. But I won’t eat animal products either. In fact I can’t exactly figure out what to do. But eat vegan and only what I like and really really want. Which means today was – coffee + cherry tomatoes for breakfast; romaine lettuce + asparagus for lunch + a small melon plate; coffee with soy milk for snack; veggie sushi + goji berries + a lenny and larrys vegan protein cookie for dinner. Then wine and another whole protein cookie for dessert. Not too shabby. whatever, if I’m at my highest weight no matter what I might as well eat what I want (veggie sushi and vegan protein cookies). when will this level out? when will i drop the injury/stress/overdieting pounds I put on since December? UUUUGHHHH. But you know, perhaps this is a lesson for me. There’s only so much I’m willing to do right now. I think maybe all I can do is get through this week (another super long one, no days off, all nearly 12 hour days. some more than that)and then, in September, I’ll level off. I’m moving to part time night school, I”m working as a singing gondolier in a set schedule, I’ll start half marathon training. All will be well. but for now – more water and more vegan protein cookies so I can stop drinking diet coke when I crave sugar. Bleck!
So, hows it going? Its been a week and I honestly have to say its going well AND I’m going to make a few tweaks. I’ve been SUUUUPER busy. As in get up at 7:30am, get to school by 9am get home at 5:30pm and head out to boat driving rehearsal at 10pm, get home by 3:30am….sleep a few hours and do it all over again. I’m tired and a little sore and a little surprised how hard it is to go to school all day (being on my feet) and then learn to steer a gondola (on my feet) at night. So, in light of that, I ran 3 days in a row – and it felt good- and I haven’t run since I’ve been doing school and rehearsals. But thats ok, I’m getting a good workout, I promise and as soon as double duty ends I’ll get back to it. Plus side, it’ll be a bit cooler too. Nevada summer is kicking my butt a little.
As for keto – its really working too. I always hate admitting it but my depression goes away nearly instantly and this time is exception. Within 24 hours of not eating sugar, fruit, grain or carbs over 50 grams for the day I found myself smiling, laughing, just full of joy and it hasn’t waned even though I’m super tired and stressed out. My gut feels better too. Here’s the tweak though, I’ve been researching a lot about vegan ketogenic eating and it is possible. So I picked up some supplies and you know what – there’s a lot out there. So while I’m not going to say I’m vegan right now as being ketogenic is the most important part of my diet at the moment, I’m going to head that direction. If I need to eat eggs I will or cheese or even a burger patty, right now, I will. But with the intention of eating as much vegan options as possible and learning how to eat vegan fat as my food sources ( sun butter, coconut oil/coconut, flax milk, 90%dark chocolate, avocado). Today I picked up a few things to help. My natural sun butter of course (I have to be careful with it because I can eat a whole jar in one sitting), Earth Balance “butter”, I found unsweetened flax milk to replace the heavy whipping cream in my coffee, Tofu dogs that have 0 carbohydrates! and some vegan cheese. My vegan boca burgers are low enough carb to eat for dinner as well with lettuce and my sugar free ketchup. I have a plantfusion brand protein powder that only has 4 carbohydrates in it and its made of pea protein. I think this could actually work!
Off to pass out…zzzzzzzz
Its been a hot little minute hasn’t it. I actually started a different blog…which i then dropped too. I needed a break. But now – I’m back! Why? I don’t know, I have almost no free time which actually makes me want to write more than when I have gads of free time. Weird I know. This used to document my fitness journey – and my life- and I’d like to continue that trend🙂 Things have changed so much! I’m married, I’ve traveled the world, Ive settled down in Las Vegas (well as settled down as I can be). And on top of that I’m in a weird spot with my fitness. I just turned 34 and while I’m happy, I have had a lot injuries this year and I’m unhappy with my body, my fitness level. I’ve bounced around from diet to diet from program to program never finishing any of them. Looking back over this blog was actually really nice and a little inspiring – see there was a time in my life when i could follow through with something. So, I’m at it again.
- I started a cosmetology program in June. I am at Paul Mitchell the school and I love it
- We moved to Las Vegas in March! for the first time in a very long time Dan and I have a home base of our own.
- I finally live near my sister!
So here’s the brass tacks of my diet fitness plan at the moment. Due to stomach problems and various other issues, I’ve decided to restart the ketogenic diet. I’ve gone back and forth on this over the last year. For ethical reasons I have a hard time not being vegan but over and over again I’ve been getting sick. So I started today with the Keto diet again. and for fitness I’m running every day. Thats it, two things to start with. I have a half marathon plan that I’ll loosely follow but my schedule is super busy and trying to over commit to fitness has been biting me in the ass. So the plan is to find a way to run every day of august even if that means squeezing in a 20 minute run. I like to do abs a few times a week and I’m welcome to do anything extra but its not planned. I just have to run everyday. for now, this will evolve but I need to start with super manageable. There you have it! It’s good to be back. But now I have to run off to a rehearsal….
I’m back into running and it’s feeling so good! 4 out of the 5 days past where spent running (that one was a rest day and I was jonesing to run but knew I had to follow my plan and take the day off – I did however go for a long walk) and I’m loving it. The one thing I’m facing is extreme tightness in my lower back, hamstring and hip. I’ve always had tight hamstrings and calves and running exacerbates that, so I have to stretch them out all the time. But I’m a naturally flexible person and I’ve done a lot of work to preserve and further my back, groin, neck and shoulder flexibility. I’ve never before had the pain in my lower back that I’ve been experiencing the last 3 days. At first I thought I was just tight from running again. But I’m even getting headaches and when I stretch my neck it hurts into my lower back and hip. I did yoga yesterday and I wasn’t able to do plough pose…that pose is usually like childs pose for me. Pain shot through to my eye. I thought maybe my shoes are not good for running outside for me – they’re minimal, a Vibram/Nike fusion called New Balance Minimus Zero Trail. I’ve never had lower back pain from running. Even after stretching I’ve been hurting. So yesterday I ran in different shoes, totally not running shoes though, they were Nike high tops like these. You see, I’m not a real runner (yet?), I’m an amateur trying things out. I’ve never really “trained”, never had a coach. I pretty much just go outside or on a treadmill and run-er, jog if you’re technical. Pretty sure I’m slow as. I’ve never worked on pacing or stride or strategy. Hell, I don’t even bring water or gels. So I’m not really that in the know. I just feel like if barefoot, underfed kids in Kenya can run for fun and be awesome, I can run in any shoes and eat like the privileged American I am and do just fine. But something has been hurting my back and I’m not 19 anymore. I’m really lucky to be 31 and still have a dancing career. I perform with people 10-12 years younger then me and I keep up – but the secret is that I’ve been doing maintenance work on my body since I was 10 years old – conditioning, classes, strength training, massages, careful nutrition. It’s more necessary now then it was then.
Well, it could be the shoes, but I ran in the New Balance shoes again today and then took the time to stretch out my legs, back, calves and hips afterward. I noticed that sickling my right foot caused a stretch from my ankle, to my hip, to my back and if I sickled my foot and tucked my chin to my chest that stretch was painful from my left eye, down my back, hip to right ankle. It’s the broken ankle. Why didn’t I think of that? The physio had told me I’d need to stretch MORE in that are when I started running again. I keep forgetting that I had an injury and so it requires extra attention.
However, all of that said, it feels really good to get back into the running swing, so to speak. I’m addicted to my time jogging outside and also to listening to audiobooks. I used to solely listen to music to run, I felt like I had to be distracted to keep going. But I like the silences and pauses listening to books offers and also the engaging of my thoughts. I’ve already ploughed through 2 books and started a third in just a week. My running has all of a sudden gotten more expensive…
Here’s some of my running views…
The shoes in question. They’re just so light and easy to pack!
Yesterday I finally got a great run in. It’s been a bit harder then I imagined to get back into running fitness after several months off due to my ankle and then transitions from the ship to the holidays in Australia. There’s been really hot days (115 F) and then the fires kept me from running until finally Saturday I went for an amazing hour run and I realised I miss training for a race so I’m looking over a few programs to follow loosely. I followed that up with a body balance class this morning with the MIL and a 30 minute run where I pushed my pace a bit. I’m finding that my favourite thing to do is find out where everyone is meeting and plan to run to them! I’ve done it 3 times since I’ve been here and it rocks! I run, literally, for coffee as usually we’re meeting for coffee. Although yesterday I ran to the gym where MIL workout so we could go see a Traditional Chinese medicine doc together. Then we had coffee🙂
The TCM took my pulse, looked at my tongue and asked me some questions. Then he gave me some pills that are all herbal. We’ll see what they do for me! My MIL got given a tea to drink every morning.
Today however, is one of my favourite days of the week! After my workouts this morning, we had coffee with friends and family at The Jolly miller. Later on we’ll all head into the city for a walk around. My FIL took me to his meditation class last week and we’re doing it again today! Then dinner in the city. I’m spoiled🙂 I’m soaking up all the family time I can!
as far as my dilemmas go with nutrition, I’ve made an important decision and one I’ll have to remind myself of often – I’m stepping away from it and focusing on training only. I know fuelling your training is important, but my “diet” has been a huge source of stress and I’m always changing things and chasing that one diet that one time that made me the skinniest. I’ve read Intuitive Eating and I’m rereading it. Every. Day. I want to think of training harder because I don’t think I’ve achieved anything fitness wise over the past few years except to stay basically fit and within the same 8lbs. That’s not very inspiring. and I love running and I need to feel flexible for our upcoming shows.
So, I’m eating – usually what people would call healthy foods-when I’m hungry without judging. And I’m focusing on running. I’ve never gained intensity, I like to keep a comfortable (slow) pace and increase how long I spend running. But it’s time to get faster, push speeds, train hills and repeats and do some fartleks. Perhaps to do a race before I get back on a boat? Abs and yoga and SHORT bodyweight circuits will be thrown in when necessary.
That’s my update. I’m going to go meditate on detaching from outcomes….
The vegan issue for me has been a big one. And i’ve kind of candy coated my waffling back and forth. Being vegan has always felt to me like the best way to live. I like to live gently in all aspects of my life and were I not having continuously worsening health issues, I never would have looked into changing. But I know it’s frustrating for Dan that over the past year and a half I’ve gone back and forth between vegan, raw vegan (very difficult living on a cruise ship for me. I ate waaaaay too much dried fruit), vegetarian and ketogenic. And it’s frustrating for me. I really respect a person who lives by their beliefs and how could I respect myself when beliefs felt uncertain.
After Christmas I ate vegan again for 9 days. Those 9 days found me painfully clutching my stomach, bloated, on the toilet most of the time. But I had more energy for running. I was constantly hungry and conflicted and craving sugar. And then I went back to strict ketogenic and everything disappeared – no stomach pains, no bloating, consistent energy and decreased sugar cravings. Instantly.
Is there a middle ground? How do I justify eating animals?
I’ve been reading a lot of other peoples experiences vegan and non. Here are some that I was surprised to find about very devout vegans developing health problems that forced them away from veganism.
and heaps more articles. There’s just as many on both sides of the spectrum, but since this is the side I’m struggling with I’m reading these first.
Have you seen this TED talk by Lizzie Velasquez? It’s like duh, but also a great reminder on perspective. So this is the focus to have in life. What defines me? Ironically, since I’m referencing this talk by the woman who physically cannot gain weight, if you were to examine the contents of my thoughts and my blog and my activities I define myself by how much I weigh and how big my arms look in pictures. That’s not what I want. Other things define me as well, but really what has defined me to ME has been how fat or thin I feel.
And now that that’s not true… what defines me?