So what AM I doing wrong?

I mentioned yesterday how my weight, measurements and all that good stuff have been stuck for the last couple of months, and here I am still 16lbs above what I was when I crossed the finish line of those marathons (which were so long ago, that I’m starting to doubt that I ever actually ran that far…).

I’m not dumb, and I know there are two culprits for not losing more weight:

1) I’ve been really really relaxed about keeping track of my calories on the MyFitnessPal app

I’ve been eating healthy at home, keeping track of my portions as I did when I was inputting everything in and all that good stuff, but when I do go out to eat, I don’t always make the right choice.  And counting calories gets really really boring really really fast, specially on trips (where all bets are off, but I do like it that way:  I go to another country to experience the culture, and that includes the food, but I usually walk around enough to somewhat compensate for the damage). 

Let’s face it, it’s not the trips that are making me fat, it’s getting lazy about writing every single thing down I eat to make sure I’m not eating too many calories (or most importantly, when I eat out, because at home I’m actually pretty good about the whole thing, since, you know, I have healthy meals cooked for me, and I don’t have to lift a finger and all that…).

At least I’m not gaining, something I wish I could have said last year…

2) Lack of cardio.

Since leaving Muay Thai, I haven’t been getting any cardio in.  At all.  And I know people lose weight all over the world by doing weights only, but obviously that doesn’t work for me.  What good is it that my muscles have amazing definition if I have a thick layer of fat covering them up and no one can’t tell?  I may be healthier and stronger, but damn it, I want to look good too!  (And anyone that says otherwise, is lying.)

So instead of going from a leg to an arm workout, skipping rest completely, as I was doing, I now have been taking 30 second rests in between each set; except instead of resting, I’ve been jumping. Literally.  It looks totally awkward to jump around without a jump rope, but I usually have the gym to myself, so why do I care? I jump slowly, I jump fast, I jump twisting my legs around, I jump forward and back, I crisscross my legs, whatever, I keep changing it each time. 

(And FYI, Footloose came up on my playlist, and oh, man, I forgot how freaking perfect that is for things like jumping!  Seriously, play it, and don’t tell me it doesn’t make you want to jump around too?  Or am I just outdating myself?  Can I call it a classic and leave it at that?)

So anyway, jumping for 30 seconds at a time might seem like nothing, but I’m getting at least a good 12-15 minutes of pure jumping when it’s all said and done. Plus, it keeps my heart rate up when I do my weights.

And because I haven’t forgotten what brought me to this blog in the first place, now after the gym I’ve started doing this:


I know, I know, I know.

Half a mile is nothing.


But it’s still better than nothing, no? And with all my injuries this year (stupid foot, stupid hip!), I want to take it very very very slow.  Half a mile for a couple of weeks, 3 times a week, then increase it by a quarter of a mile, and so on.  I’m actually seriously considering capping it all at 3 miles for my time in Manila…  It looks like I rather jump out of the window than do more than that on the treadmill, and I have to stop beating myself up about it.  I can pick up long-distance running again when I get back to DC in a year (OMG, a year from now! Yay!).

But, take notice that my slow-ass can run slightly faster when it’s only going for a half a mile (and that’s after killing myself at the gym, thankyouverymuch).  So all of this might actually help me get a little faster, since I’ll be increasing my distance very very veeeery slowly.  And I’m also using the Five Fingers in the meantime since it looks like I’m finally doing low mileage enough to get my feet used to it (and since my feet are troublesome, I think it’s worth giving it a try).

Wish me luck.  And next time you’re struggling to get those double digits mileage in, remember the chick over this side of the world, who is struggling to get a lame half a mile in.  And feel instantly better about yourself!  (I mean, we have to look at the good side about this, right?  And if it is I make other people feel like rockstars by comparison, so be it!)


Filed under Diet, Treadmill Run, Weightlifting, Workout

10 responses to “So what AM I doing wrong?

  1. Laura

    Yeah glad to see you are back to running! Your gradual increase in mileage sounds like a good plan. Hang in there. Btw, I did the Warrior Dash a few weekends ago. The running was no problem but the obstacles were HARD. I need to get myself back into strength training. Oh-you should add the song Jump Around by House of Pain to your cardio playlist.

    • I figured the gradual will be super slow, but it’s not like I have a race on the schedule, so might as well do what I can — slow increase is still better than no running!

      As for Jump Around, that still doesn’t get me going as much as Footloose!

  2. Good luck! You’ll get there. I am impressed that you never give up.

  3. Jessica

    I can make YOU feel better. Still NOT ALLOWED to run. At All. Not 11-minute, 12-minute, or even 13-minute miles. So your half mile is quite jealousy-inspiring, actually.

    Tracking food eaten away from home is really tough, and I wish I had some way to make it easier, but short of typing it into a note on your iphone, I can’t think of anything. But what I really wanted to say is that the short bursts of cardio between sets are very similar to the principle behind the 30-day Shred. I don’t know if you’ve tried it, but it’s on sale for cheap from Amazon, and might be a fun thing to add in to your routine for variety. It requires almost no equipment (just a couple of light hand weights), and doesn’t take very long.

    • Oh crap, I didn’t know you were still not allowed to run. This blows. Is it better not running because you can’t, than not running because you don’t have the endurance anymore? I guess in one at least the guilt is not on your shoulders (but it totally suck not having the option though…).

      I think my problem is with tracking both food and alcohol out! I’ve never been much of a drinker, but that’s mainly because I’m super cheap and was always driving. Here we walk everywhere, and yummy sangrias and margaritas are not expensive, so of course I take advantage of it more often! And when you’re not in charge of cooking, it’s hard to know whether it was cooked in a ton of oil and butter (sometimes you can tell, but how do you track if you just don’t know how much?).

      I’ve done the 30-day shred on and off for years, it really is great! I seem to lose my motivation sometime in week 3 and give up, mostly because I get bored of doing the same thing over and over. I’ve even tried moving the workouts around (instead of doing the same one for a week, alternating between 1, 2 and 3), but of course, it gets boring too. (And yes, it always makes me sore, so I know it’s a good plan!) Right now I’m actually really enjoying the weightlifting, and hoping the little bursts of cardio will help (it’s almost like an interval/circuit training, right?). I like getting out of the house where I have distraction from getting things done.

  4. Do you have an elliptical you can use? I don’t know what injuries you have, but I have tricky knees, and I find the elliptical to be much easier on them than a treadmill. I agree that the cardio really helps with losing weight–I have been on a mission to lose 10 pounds since January and I have noticed that the more cardio I do, the faster it comes off. I’m almost there!

    Sometimes I think it’s actually harder to lose 10 pounds than to lose 100. Or maybe it’s a lot harder to lose the last 10 pounds, and if that’s all you have to lose then it’s kind of going to suck losing it 🙂

    • There is an elliptical here but it’s actually the ones that are small (similar to the home ones). I’m not a huge fan of the elliptical (I find them more boring then the treadmill), though I do like the Precor ones — that of course, it’s not what we have.

      My foot problems were caused my running (plantar fasciitis), but *not*running didn’t solve the problem. My hip pain was caused by muay thai (doing super-deep squat at warm ups) and only when it was very bad that I could feel running. I think I’m just injury-prone! But I don’t want to totally lose the running, you know? Plus, we invested a ton on our treadmill, so it’d be nice if I actually use the thing 🙂

      And yes, losing weight is a pain. I gained almost 30lbs last year (I guess not marathon-training and the move to Manila where we ate out a lot are part of the reason), and lost 12 fairly easily earlier this year, but am still 16lbs above what I used to be a year and a half ago, and those are not budging whatsoever. (I don’t know if it’d be easier to lose a hundred pounds — it’s true that you lose the weight much quicker, but imagine the mind games you play with yourself when your goal seems so far away?)

  5. Dani

    Oooh starting to run again after not getting to run for a long time is so, so hard, I feel your pain! Little, teeny tiny goals are what did it for me. Running for 5 minutes straight and then ten minutes straight and so on. The good days are always followed by really hard days and then good ones again. You look great already! pounds-shmounds, its how you feel that matters more! 🙂

  6. I’m there with you. I pretend it’s baby weight but truthfully I was back to my normal weight a month or so after the baby. These extra 15-20 pounds? That’s new post/stress eating weight. Ugh. I’ve been “tracking” what I eat for a few months now but not very diligently. I need to get better. I will. We will! 🙂 For me it’s not the weight itself I mind but that all of my work clothes are super uncomfortable. I refuse to buy a whole new wardrobe!

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