Category Archives: Fitness

Calling All Runners and Athletes!

And just like that, we are almost done with Moan-Day! I got this from Caitlin’s (Healthy Tipping Point) post this morning, made me laugh 🙂

I am currently sitting in one of my favorite places ever, Barnes and Noble!!!, and writing a paper. Let me first say that Barnes and Noble, Borders, or really any other book store, is my favorite place to do work. There is usually a cafe, plenty of books if I need references, and when I need a break- people watching is the best!

The only problem is being distracted by huge magazine rack, or really any other book available to read. Must. Focus. Now.

While I am procrastinating actually writing this paper, I am thinking about it at least! This is for my Nutrition and Public Health class and I am researching about a subject near and dear to me, disordered eating among female athletes. I am focusing on college-level athletes, but also am discussing the trends among regular ones, although only in women (sorry guys!).

If you Google, “disordered eating and athletes,” there are overwhelming results. Overall, these indicate there are higher levels of eating related issues among female athletes as compared to those that are more inactive. This makes sense to me: there are pressures not only from our society to become thin, but also there are certain sports that put pressure on performers to meet a certain weight criteria.

Running is a sport largely related to this. Many elite female runners are lean, mean, fighting machines, with very little body fat.

 

Elite Runners Before a Race

A person that is attempting to get to elite levels might draw the conclusion that the thinner you are= the faster you run. Although there have been studies that showed how weight loss does impact race times, these are only geared toward people that have some extra weight to lose. Check out this Runner’s World article for a more detailed explanation.Unfortunately, some women may learn this information and take it into the extreme, leading to a restrictive calorie intake and setting themselves up for menstrual loss and osteoporosis at a young age.

From personal experience of being a member of my school’s cross country and track team, I have seen the pressure to be thin among my teammates. I can remember on the very first day of practice, a girl was there that was so thin, her legs looked like sticks and she was shivering in the 80-degree weather of September. Eventually she admitted to restricting because she though it would make her run faster. With intervention methods such as requiring her to eat a specific number of calories and education on adequate nutrition and sports performance, she has recovered, gained weight and is running quite fast now.

I have also succumbed to the pressures of meeting a certain weight, as I have discussed in my “About Me” page and “Running” page. Although my obsession with food occurred long before i began runner, last summer I figured losing weight meant I would run faster. Initially this did occur, but my inadequate calorie intake caught up with me and I was constantly feeling fatigues and my performance steadily got worse.

Too Thin For ME!

When an athlete goes on a “diet” and begins to restrict their intake, it actually might look like they are eating normally. Yet they are not taking in adequate calories to meet the demands of their practices or training runs, and their performance will inevitably decline.

For example, on days when I go on my long runs, I now eat like a horse after! I am usually so hungry the entire day and continuous snacking on proper nutritious items helps me to recover. I might look like I am eating excess amounts to a non-athlete, which is why this could go unnoticed from someone who is suffering with food-related issues.

So for my essay, I would love to hear other people’s stories or opinions on this! Beyond influence from images of our culture in magazines, TV, Internet, etc, have you ever felt pressure as an athlete to look a certain way for the sport? Or have you seen this among friends?

4 Comments

Filed under Disorded Thoughts, Disordered Eating, Fitness, Fuel, Recovery, Running, Serious Stuff, UMASS

Thursday’s Workout and Product Reviews

Thank you all so much very much for your encouraging comments on my last post. These sorts of posts and comments form others is helping me to purge my feelings, and recognize my old, irrational habits, ones I am letting go 🙂

Fitness is an important part of my life, so I want to share my recovery on this blog, but also discuss my workouts, tips and my training toward my Half- Marathon in May. I am re-discovering how much I love working out to make myself FEEL GREAT as opposed to losing weight and diminishing my body. The muscle I am finally developing is a plus too! 😀

On that note, this morning I had a great workout! I woke up at 7:00 and headed over to my school’s rec center. I began with a 15 minute warm-up on the elliptical at an easy pace. I then attended a 45 spinning class where the usual hills and sprints were a focus, and it was a heart-pumping good time!

I was in the mood for a good weight session too, so after the class I completed these two circuits and tried to work each part of my body.

Exercise Set 1: I went through this 3 times:

Squat w/ lateral raise 12-15 reps 15 pound DB
Renegade row 12 rows for each arm 15 pound DB
Plank hold 45 sec- 1 minute Body weight
Kettle ball Swing w/squat 12-15 reps 20 pound KB
Bicep curl in lung position 10 curls for each leg 12 pound DB

After the first two circuits I did a 2-minute cardio blast, to get my heart pumpin! I completed as many reps as possible in 30 seconds then moved on to the next move:

1.     Mountain climbers

2.     Burpees

3.     Squat jumps

4.     Jumping jacks with 5 pound weights in each hand

Once this was done I moved on to this circuit and went through it three times

Scissor crunches 30- 45 seconds Body weight
Chest press 12-15 reps 20 pound DB
Hamstring Roll-Ins 15 reps Body weight on ball
Tricep pull-down 15- 20 reps 40 pounds on machine
Oblique crunches 15 on each side Body weight

I repeated the same cardio blast as above after the first two circuits and did a whole lotta stretchin after this workout.

The gym at our school was built last year and I feel so blessed to have free access to this gorgeous place. It has so many fabulous offerings, such as tons of ellipticals, treadmills, bikes, arc trainers, rowing machines, two weight rooms, an indoor track, and a yummy smoothie bar! There are also three open rooms for group exercise classes, such as cardio kick, spinning, Zumba and others. Here are some pics!

I was oh-so-sexy sweaty after the combination of spinning and this weight routine, and quickly made my way back to my room, showered and had breakfast!

Once again the blogging world rears its influential head for my breakfast :p I had prepped overnight oats before heading to the gym so they were nice and ready by the time I ate them.

Mmm looked like baby food! 😉 The mix included: McCann’s “Quick and Easy” 5- Minute Steel Cut Oats, chia seeds, almond milk, a banana, Trader Joe’s Blueberry Jam, and a small dollop of Peanut Butter and Company- Cinnamon Raisin Swirl… a delicious mix!


It was my first time trying McCann’s Instant Steel Cut Oats, and I really enjoyed them! They maintained the heartier, nuttier texture that steel cut oats have and did not take 20- 30 minutes to cook on a stove top. This type absorbed the liquids nicely and was a tasty new try! I recommend these if you are short on time in the morning, but still like to enjoy this type over rolled or other instant kinds.

The jam from Trader Joe’s was also a great addition. It had sweet blueberries throughout the jam, yet the flavor was not too powerful, a nice fruity touch to the oatmeal!

I have three classes this afternoon and then my friend Danielle is picking me up to go to Whole Foods for Free Sample Night!! Yay for hoarding free food 🙂

I shall be recapping this amazing event later tonight. I hope everyone has an nice day!

Question: Has anyone tried this type of oatmeal before? Or any other interesting kinds you enjoy?

1 Comment

Filed under Breakfast, Exercise, Fitness, Oatmeal, Product Review, Whole Foods

Thursday's Workout and Product Reviews

Thank you all so much very much for your encouraging comments on my last post. These sorts of posts and comments form others is helping me to purge my feelings, and recognize my old, irrational habits, ones I am letting go 🙂

Fitness is an important part of my life, so I want to share my recovery on this blog, but also discuss my workouts, tips and my training toward my Half- Marathon in May. I am re-discovering how much I love working out to make myself FEEL GREAT as opposed to losing weight and diminishing my body. The muscle I am finally developing is a plus too! 😀

On that note, this morning I had a great workout! I woke up at 7:00 and headed over to my school’s rec center. I began with a 15 minute warm-up on the elliptical at an easy pace. I then attended a 45 spinning class where the usual hills and sprints were a focus, and it was a heart-pumping good time!

I was in the mood for a good weight session too, so after the class I completed these two circuits and tried to work each part of my body.

Exercise Set 1: I went through this 3 times:

Squat w/ lateral raise 12-15 reps 15 pound DB
Renegade row 12 rows for each arm 15 pound DB
Plank hold 45 sec- 1 minute Body weight
Kettle ball Swing w/squat 12-15 reps 20 pound KB
Bicep curl in lung position 10 curls for each leg 12 pound DB

After the first two circuits I did a 2-minute cardio blast, to get my heart pumpin! I completed as many reps as possible in 30 seconds then moved on to the next move:

1.     Mountain climbers

2.     Burpees

3.     Squat jumps

4.     Jumping jacks with 5 pound weights in each hand

Once this was done I moved on to this circuit and went through it three times

Scissor crunches 30- 45 seconds Body weight
Chest press 12-15 reps 20 pound DB
Hamstring Roll-Ins 15 reps Body weight on ball
Tricep pull-down 15- 20 reps 40 pounds on machine
Oblique crunches 15 on each side Body weight

I repeated the same cardio blast as above after the first two circuits and did a whole lotta stretchin after this workout.

The gym at our school was built last year and I feel so blessed to have free access to this gorgeous place. It has so many fabulous offerings, such as tons of ellipticals, treadmills, bikes, arc trainers, rowing machines, two weight rooms, an indoor track, and a yummy smoothie bar! There are also three open rooms for group exercise classes, such as cardio kick, spinning, Zumba and others. Here are some pics!

I was oh-so-sexy sweaty after the combination of spinning and this weight routine, and quickly made my way back to my room, showered and had breakfast!

Once again the blogging world rears its influential head for my breakfast :p I had prepped overnight oats before heading to the gym so they were nice and ready by the time I ate them.

Mmm looked like baby food! 😉 The mix included: McCann’s “Quick and Easy” 5- Minute Steel Cut Oats, chia seeds, almond milk, a banana, Trader Joe’s Blueberry Jam, and a small dollop of Peanut Butter and Company- Cinnamon Raisin Swirl… a delicious mix!


It was my first time trying McCann’s Instant Steel Cut Oats, and I really enjoyed them! They maintained the heartier, nuttier texture that steel cut oats have and did not take 20- 30 minutes to cook on a stove top. This type absorbed the liquids nicely and was a tasty new try! I recommend these if you are short on time in the morning, but still like to enjoy this type over rolled or other instant kinds.

The jam from Trader Joe’s was also a great addition. It had sweet blueberries throughout the jam, yet the flavor was not too powerful, a nice fruity touch to the oatmeal!

I have three classes this afternoon and then my friend Danielle is picking me up to go to Whole Foods for Free Sample Night!! Yay for hoarding free food 🙂

I shall be recapping this amazing event later tonight. I hope everyone has an nice day!

Question: Has anyone tried this type of oatmeal before? Or any other interesting kinds you enjoy?

1 Comment

Filed under Breakfast, Exercise, Fitness, Oatmeal, Product Review, Whole Foods

Product Reviews and Below The Surface- Fear Food: Cereal

Good morning readers!

I got in a nice run this morning, it was about 6.3 miles at a 7:45 pace, which seems to be my usual pace for runs these days. It used to be around 8:30 so diligence towards the sport really shows how much it is possible to improve. I ended the run at the Rec Center where I took a core class for 35 minutes. I am definitely feeling the effects of the routine now, I really need to work on my core strength, which has been proven to make you faster and more efficient while running. Fit Sugar explains this idea really well, check it out!

After I got back I showered and had a quick breakfast before my first class at 11:15. I had a big bowl of cereal:

  • 1/2 cup Blueberry Muffin Mini Wheats= one of my all time favorite cereals. This is a new-ish discovery and it tastes like a delicious blueberry muffin in a crunchy, wheaty, sweet form…yum 🙂
  • 1/2 cup Quaker Oat Squares (Cinnamon)= also amazing! I first saw these from Allie’s Blog, and have seen them appear more and more across the Blog world. Another example of its crazy influence!
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk
  • Trader Joe’s Berry Greek Yogurt= this was really tasty! I have tried several different types of Greek Yogurt and this has been deemed one of my new favorites. It was pretty think, not too sweet, with a subtle fruit taste, and not too much $$, always something to consider, as I am a bit poor at the moment.
  • A sprinkle of slivered almonds
  • Apple

After finishing this breakfast, it made me realize how much my eating and refueling has improved on my road to recovery, but also reminds me of foods I once truly feared and am working to incorporate them on daily basis.

There are several I can think of, today I will talk about cereal.

I used to be a cereal FANATIC. I literally loved every kind of sugary, fake kinds you could think of; Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Krispies, Frosted Flakes, Golden Grahams, Cap’n Crunch, Crunch Berries, oh my I could go on. I would have 2-3 bowls (not measured) every morning before school and then 1-2 when I got home and perhaps one for dinner 🙂

When I started Weight Watchers however, the point system helped to teach portion sizes and made me realize I was using about half of my daily points on cereal in the morning. Although portions are good to learn, WW once again made me obsessed with this and led to habit changes. I found healthier cereals, such as Fiber One, Kashi, and other Organic cereals, that I could have for much less points and were more satisfying. I eventually cut down to one, pre-measured bowl of cereal in the morning and none for the rest of the day.

As my obsession around WW, food and weight became more intense, I took a look at my breakfast and irrationality reared its ugly head. This small bowl of cereal was not satisfying me at all, leaving me hungry almost immediately after I had finished it. Instead of adding more cereal, healthy fats, or protein, I thought this food was just going to make me fat because it made me hungry. I then started to consume fruit for breakfast instead, as a way to fill me up for the lower calories (in my mind). Eventually I stopped having breakfast all together, but that’s for another post 🙂

I had this idea that the Carbs from cereal were the ones that caused people to gain weight, and fruit would prevent this. What I didn’t understand at the time that I was simply not eating enough and a balance of nutrients in the morning to sustain me.

Cereal is not the enemy and never has been, and it’s now once again, it is among my favorite foods! Any kind still: though I try to pick the ones with ingredients I can actually pronounce and that have a good amount of fiber and protein. Also, coupling cereal with fruit and a healthy fat, such as a bowl with a sliced banana, skim milk, and nuts sprinkled on top, will really help to keep me full.

I have so many other fear foods I am overcoming, including pasta, FATS, pizza, sweet treats, pastries, cakes, okay so alot. I will discuss these soon as well!

Has anyone experienced fears around certain foods? What have you done to overcome this?

10 Comments

Filed under Below The Surface, Breakfast, Disorded Thoughts, Favorite Foods, Fitness, Fuel, Product Review, Running, Trader Joes, Weight Watchers

Monday Morning Workout

So another week begins! And it’s snowing here in the Northeast! I know I am stating the obvious here, but this whole New England weather thing is getting a tad old 😉 On my run yesterday, I was in shorts, and today I busted out the rubber boots and long coat for my (wet/cold) walk to class. Ahh well, things could be worse!

Not going to lie though, getting going this morning was a bit difficult! On days I do not practice with the Track team, I get my workouts done in the early morning, I’m not a fan of waiting around to do it all day. Plus the Rec Center here gets crazy crowded as the day progresses.

As my alarm was ringing before my 7 am Cardio Kick class, I thought of Julie (from PB Fingers) and her mantra for getting yourself motivated and your butt moving for a workout, “you’re just one workout away from a good mood.” That thought really helped and powered me through the class! I love this group exercise class because it is a great cardio workout, but also tones legs, arms, bum, shoulders, and back by incorporating punches and kicks with cardio intervals…i worked up a great sweat!

The class is only 40 minutes and I was feelin full of energy, so I decided to hit the treadmill for a bit. While watching Good Morning America, I ran 3.5 miles in 26 minutes and incorporated sprint intervals/HIIT. I set the incline at 1.5% and started with a warm-up for 5 minutes, then cranked up the speed to 8.8 mph for 1 minute and down to 7.6 for a 2 minute break. It’s safe to say I was dripping sweat (TMI) by the end of this and hightailed it back to my room to take a shower… twas needed 🙂

I have a midterm tomorrow for my Health Economics class that I really ought to continue studying for. The material in the class is fairly interesting, but I have a serious problem every time I go. It is right after lunch in a nice, warm and cozy classroom and I nod off/fall asleep seriously EVERYDAY. And to make it worse, there are only about 15 students in the room so the professor definitely sees me do this consistently, but I am so not trying to be rude! It’s that tired, sleepy feeling that you cannot do anything about, except maybe walk around or pass out right on the desk (yes, this has occurred! haha) Does this happen to anyone else?!

How was everyone’s weekend? Any races to report, or exciting news? Did anyone get in a good workout this morning…I would love to hear some new ideas to switch up my own routine!

Time to get my study on! Doesn’t think book sound thrilling? 😉


6 Comments

Filed under Exercise, Fitness, Group Exercise, HIIT, Public Health, Running