Day 100: hello to 2014!

How apt that the 100th day of my lifestyle overhaul should be New Year’s Eve–something about new beginnings and celebrating achievements and all that.

I’ve never really gone in for New Years resolutions–why limit yourself to changing your life only 1 day per year? And, for me (and many, many other people), they’ve never stuck.

But I do think setting achievable goals is good in any area of your life. So here are my goals for 2014. Some are already in progress. None of them require massive life changes — they’re all related to things that are already part of my life. I think I can manage that. 🙂

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Day 98: tight hips? try this

My BF (a former powerlifter who has evaluated my lifting form) has told me I have tight hips. Two personal trainers have told me I have tight hips. This is not news — I *know* I have tight hips.

Some causes of tight hips:
1. predominantly sedentary lifestyle
2. Long-term failure to stretch hips
3. Running/hiking/walking as primary form of cardio (all are great hip strengtheners but aren’t so great for hip flexibility)

The effects are obvious while I’m exercising: I can feel my hips tightening even more when I’m running or hiking and it affects my squat depth.

I want more flexible hips so the last couple weeks I’ve been doing 10 minutes of hip stretching after every workout (strength training AND running). Here are some of exercises that can help with hip flexibility (thanks to Courtney at Don’t Blink. Just Run for some good ideas).

1. Foam rolling. When you find a knot, stop moving (micromovements are okay) and use your bodyweight to press into the foam roller for 30-60 seconds.

 

2. Pigeon pose. I am pretty awkward getting into the pose, but holy smokes it’s a good hip stretch. There are many variants; here is a pigeon pose for beginners:

3. Kneeling hip flexor stretch. Drop to your left knee with your right foot planted on the ground in front of you; your right knee should be at a 90˚ angle. Lean forward to feel a stretch in your left hip. Raise your left arm above you and lean slightly to your right for a more intense stretch. Switch legs to repeat with your right hip.

4. Eye of the needle. This is also great for your lower back. Lie on your back with your legs stretched out. Bend your L knee and plant your L foot on the floor. Bend your R knee and place your R ankle against the top of your L thigh. Use your hands to hold onto your L thigh (L hand from the outside, R hand through the “eye of the needle” between your thighs) and lift your L leg up and towards your abdomen. Switch legs and repeat.

5. Here are 9 yoga poses that stretch hips (includes eye of the needle and pigeon pose).

6. Here is a 10-minute hip stretch workout that also works your bum and legs:

Fitness today
Miles to Mordor: 2.96
Rest

In search of my TDEE
kCal: 2125

Day 97: distance PR

Today was my fourth 25-minute run; 2 more to go. Great run this morning. I woke up at 7.15 (which sounds so sad as it is Saturday, but I sleep so well these days due to regular exercise, and I wake up the same time every morning without an alarm), laced up my shoes, and headed out. It was frosty this morning and the park where I run was covered in sparkly grey. Pretty. Fleece hat, fleece gloves, and sweatshirt very necessary. Lots of other folks out running and walking this morning, all bundled up.

Even though the size of my body hasn’t changed much, I can feel some big changes in how it functions. Better, more regular sleep, for one. Higher, more consistent energy levels. I had so much energy when I woke up, it really felt like the only thing I could reasonably do was exercise to burn some of it off. Good thing it was a c25k day. So off I went, and… result! I PRed my distance. By, ahem, .01 miles.

Came home, stretched, did planks, had a shower, went to brunch with friends, played dominion with the BF, going to bed a little early.

And, once again I’m thinking 2200 kcal is lower than my TDEE, because I’m pretty hungry this evening.

Fitness today
Miles to Mordor: 4.86
C25k week 7 day 2

In search of TDEE
kCal: 2221

Day 96: 3 good things

1. As much as I loved the holiday feasting, it feels good to be back to my normal food. My body likes protein and vegetables.

2. Killed it at the gym this morning. I am up to 3×14 inclined push-ups. I could barely do 3×10 2 months ago. Steps on the journey to 1 real horizontal push-up. 🙂

3. I officially accepted the job I really wanted: at a SNF in Clearlake, CA. I’ll have to move, which means I won’t get to live with my rad BF for awhile (nah good, broo. Amazing cartoon at the link for people who love language and accents). But I got a great offer, I love the facility, I really clicked with the rehab director, it’s just gorgeous there, and it’s only 2 hours from the Sac area (where we live now) and 2 hours from SF/Bay Area (where the BF is likely to move if he changes jobs). So I won’t be too far away from the BF and we will be able to spend every weekend together.

Looking forward to the weekend. There will be jogging and brunch. And probably some board games. Loving Dominion lately.

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Day 95: radical self-love (a holiday miracle)

I have been working really hard to reevaluate my approach to food, bodies, and health, and I think I’ve come a long way. I can truthfully say these are things I actually believe, not just things I pay lip service to:

1. Food is not the enemy.
2. It is not healthy to demonize entire food groups or macronutrients.
3. Carbs are not “bad.” Fat is not “bad”.
4. For godsake, eat, your brain and body need fuel to function.

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Day 93: exercise is magic. I’m serious.

It is so warm in Sacramento right now that it doesn’t feel at all like christmas to this girl who lived in the north for 30 years. It will make my run tomorrow quite pleasant! I’m taking tomorrow off from the blog but I’ll be back Thursday. Merry Christmas to you if you celebrate; if you don’t, may your day be relaxing and peaceful.

Now on to regularly scheduled programming.

Protein is good for retention of lean body mass and muscle growth. Fat is good because, among other things, it makes us feel full. But carbs, what are they good for?

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