Um. Quest bar has some new flavors out this year. The two best are Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Cereal Bar. Don’t buy them unless you want to have to buy them every day forever because THEY ARE TOO DELICIOUS TO BE TRUE.
Um. Quest bar has some new flavors out this year. The two best are Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Cereal Bar. Don’t buy them unless you want to have to buy them every day forever because THEY ARE TOO DELICIOUS TO BE TRUE.
This is a running calendar I bought last year, by I Love To Run. You’re supposed to just X off each day that you ran. And right in the middle it says “You either ran today or you didn’t.” Super simple. Love the idea. Just like Seinfeld and his red Xs on writing days. You either did the thing that gets you what you said you want or you didn’t. You’re either moving towards what you want or you’re not. Do or do not. There is no try.
And there’s nothing like seeing the entire year laid out for you, with the evidence of your effort or lack thereof, for some honesty.
My calendar from last year is pretty pathetic. 55 runs. And it’s filled with many, MANY blank weeks. Vast stretches of nothingness. Now, I didn’t record every workout. Towards the end of the year I started to use a horizontal mark to indicate that I had done some kind of strength training or barre workout. But even if I had been recording those the whole year, it wouldn’t have changed the truth of the year.
The truth of the year was that I didn’t run much. The truth of the year is that there were huge expanses of time when I wasn’t doing anything to work toward my fitness and body goals. The truth of the year was my body was still recovering from carrying a child: my hip hurt, and my lower back got fatigued really quickly, even from walking. I had no core strength anymore to support that back or those hips. And it still felt like all of my organs were going to fall out of my body when I ran or tried to do a jumping jack. And I also had a 1 year old in day care, getting all of the day care colds, which I got, and then combined with allergies to form chronic sinus infections (yay! so cool! you should totally try them!) which meant I was sick for half the year, too.
So I had to take a step back (from where my ego thought I should be) and start where I actually was. Which is completely unAmerican and blows, and was NOT “run most of the days!” I had to do short, easy workouts, and focus on consistency instead of intensity. I did Betty Rocker’s MakeFat Cry challenge, which is all 15 minute workouts. I did the 21 Day Fix workouts, which are around 30 minutes long. (And they were really hard for me! And that made me super sad!) I did one or two segments of barre videos instead of hour long classes. I walked the dog because I couldn’t really run. It was a year of being a beginner even though I’ve been working out for almost 30 years. ARGH! SUCKS!
But you know what? It’s a year later. And now I can run. And now I can go back to bootcamp. And now I can really start building back up to where I was. It’s possible now. And now I can do jumping jacks without feeling like my organs are going to fall out onto the floor. (At least not, like, ALL of them.) And even though I didn’t lose “the baby weight” and actually gained ten pounds on the keto diet (what in the ever loving fuck, right?), I learned from that too. And I’ve pivoted, and I’m losing weight, and I’m probably pretty damn close to knowing exactly how to eat (for me) because now I’ve officially Tried All Of The Things.
This is my calendar for 2017. It’s blank and I’m excited. I know it’s going to be “better” than last year. And I also know last year WASN’T a failure, because despite the lack of running days, I really did make progress. Invisible, annoying, base-level building progress, but progress nonetheless. And you have to go through progress before you can get to fitness, and you have to go through fitness before you can get to buffness. Which totally sucks and if I was in charge, you would lose 30 pounds every time you ran 3 miles. But I’m not in charge, so 1. progress 2. fitness 3. buffness is the only path there is. ONWARD!
I hope you have a big goal. And have figured out the exact things you need to do to get there. And I hope you get a big calendar. And use it. But I also hope you are kind to yourself, and acknowledge all of the work that happens along the way, you BADASS MOTHER BITCHES!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Over the last year, you probably saw ads on your socials for a running app called Skyfit that touted itself as “SoulCycle for running.” Well, I tried it out for you and you’re welcome.
A crappy new name for Skyfit. It’s supposed to be a combination of the words app, adaptive, and active, which it is, but that doesn’t make it a good name. Maybe there was a trademark issue. Maybe they got bought and had to change it. I don’t know, but I mourn their loss. Anyway.
AAPTIV/ The App Formerly Known As Skyfit is an app that gives you a list of running (treadmill and outdoor), strength, eliptical, cycling, and yoga audio workouts. You can filter the workouts by difficulty (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) and duration, which is great.
They call(ed) themselves “SoulCycle for running” because the workouts are a music bed/ playlist and a trainer narrating the workout, guiding you throughout (form notes, motivation, form tips, etc.) and sometimes giving you extra motivation tidbits like cueing you to think about a word of the workout or a specific goal. I’m sure SoulCycle is more woo woo / intense than that, but whatever. Great elevator pitch. I bought it.
Yep. Just audio. No video of the moves or even photos. Which is fine if you know basic moves (Have you done a burpee? You’re good.) and also takes up less space on your phone and less data on your plan.
Yeah. For the most part. HOWEVER, in the strength training workouts, some of the trainers are not very good at describing moves, and some (the same ones) are not good at setting up the workout in a brief, clear way. At all. It gets really verbose, and then annoying, because this person is still talking and stumbling over her words and the warm up is over and you still don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing. It might actually only be one trainer who’s not so great at the talky talk…I should pay attention to who she is so I stop doing her workouts…
The rest of the trainers are fine. Clear. Fairly motivating. Completely adequate.
One weird thing is once you do one of the workouts, you can’t access it again for a week. I guess that’s to make it feel like studio classes or something? Fleeting? In-the moment? Ever-changing? There are plenty of workouts, though, so it’s not a big deal. And they change them out and add new ones.
They also have monthly challenges and 10k, 1/2 marathon, etc. training programs. For example, in December they had a challenge that was a list of mini strength training workouts (about 13 minutes long) you could squeeze in say, in your in-law’s basement between coffee and the beginning of the day’s activities. Some days I did one. Some days I did three back to back. It was just nice to have something to follow so I felt like I got at least a little bit of a real workout in.
I like Aaaptiv because I want to run more often, and it makes going for runs easier and more enjoyable. I like that there’s someone telling me what to do, because usually a run (or any unguided workout) is just 20-40 minutes of me fighting the voice in my head that says “meh…I feel heavy…meh…I don’t wanna…meh…let’s go eat Quest Bars and stare at a wall instead.” With Aaptiv, there’s a trainer’s voice blocking out the bad voice-in-my-head-voice. And I mostly obey the trainer, because even though it’s a pretend recording, I’m a nice midwestern girl, and I don’t want to disappoint the nice lady or man who’s just trying to help me have a good run.
And am I going to maintain a faster-than-jog pace for three minutes (or ever) without a trainer telling me to do it? Hell no.
It also makes just the idea of going for a run less of a THING, because I just press a button and the decisions are made for me. And it makes me feel like I’m running with someone. It even feels a little bit like running with a group. It’s nice. It works. I like it.
Here are three sweaty, red-faced pics from right after Aaaptiv runs that show how I felt after doing them: Alive, sweaty, and somewhat accomplished.
Nope. I did one on a treadmill in a basement, with nothing to look at but a shelf full of books and knickknacks, and I felt plenty engaged. Probably because it was all Britney and Xtina songs on that workout, and I love terrible music, but still. Words and music fill your brain hole just as well as, if not better than TV while you’re running.
AAPTIV’S STRENGTH TRAINING WORKOUTS are body weight workouts. So basically circuits of lunges, squats, planks, sit-ups, push-ups, burpees…stuff like that. They’re all simple. And some of them are SUPER simple. Like, so simple that I say out loud, repeatedly, “I fucking paid you to tell me to alternate squats and lunges for 20 minutes?” But, you know what? I’m not going to spend 20 minutes doing just squats and lunges WITHOUT someone telling me to do them, so yeah, I guess I do have to pay for exactly that.
AAPTIV’S YOGA WORKOUTS: I’ve only done one yoga workout, but it was fine. I think I might like audio only even better than yoga videos. Maybe.
ELIPTICAL and CYCLE: Can’t speak to those. I don’t have an eliptical machine, stationary bike, or a gym membership, and spin is not something I enjoy a ton. I may have said I like it in the past, but if I did, I was lying to myself and the world. It’s awkward and uncomfortable in most of the ways and people just need to admit that already.
Free 7 day trial, then $10 a month, $35 for 3 months, or $50 for a year. When I signed up a few months back, I got a year for $40. Current plans are here: https://www.aaptiv.com/signup
Yes. It’s a step above “just going out for a run” or “just doing some planks and push ups for a minute.” You’ll get a better workout in, even if it’s a 15 minute one. And having someone with you, even if it’s a recording of a trainer with one of those annoying sexy baby raspy voices, gives you a little bit of the peer pressure/ class effect: you’ll push yourself a little bit harder than if you were completely on your own.
This is what my Instagram feed looks like. You should follow it so you don’t feel alone in your love of workout clothes and your hate of working out. 😉 IG: @prettysweaty
I have been a dedicated fan of the Jawbone Up24 and Up2 fitness trackers for the last few years, but NO LONGER! I lost my first one, because there’s no clasp on an UP24 so I looped it around the top of my pants because I wanted stroller steps to count, and it fell off. D’oh!
Then I bought an Up2. And they had to replace it because the strap tore. AND, they didn’t have a black one to replace it with so I had to accept a light grey one, which I knew would look filthy and gross and cheap like a sad dead rubber band, and it did. But I had no choice, so I wore it until…
The band on that third one, the replacement for the second one, JUST TORE! I emailed Jawbone’s customer service and they sent me a “we got your email” email, but nothing after that. It’s been weeks. So I called, and their message is basically a half-step better than dealing with Comcast—which means getting slapped with a glove filled with rocks instead of slapped with a glove filled with rocks with spikes on it…the message basically says “We really suck, you will not reach a person, you can try emailing. Cheers!”
So, fuck that shit. I’m done. Also, Fitbit finally makes bands that aren’t giant and ugly and hideous, so that worked out well for me, timing-wise.
And yes, of course I got the special edition gold one. And yes, of course I already have a pink leather strap for it. Obviously. Come on.
So far, so good. The straps are very easy to switch out. The bracelet has a very secure clasping system. The Fitbit Alta does seem a little more rugged than the UP2 was, so hopefully it won’t tear like those jokers did. It’s super easy to use. The app is fine. And it lets me know when I’m getting a call or a text, which is a little bit “Hey, calm down, you’re just a pretty pedometer OK? Stay in your lane.” But you can’t blame a bracelet for trying.
Any pants that fit your ass are usually too big in the waist, and slide down as you work out.
OR, if you buy pants that are stretchy enough to fit your ass and not be baggy on your waist, that material is too stretchy to stay put during any kind of real workout, and they slide down. (Athleta Chaturanga and LuluLemon Wonder Unders are two examples of such pants.)
I recently convinced myself it was OK to get a few fresh pairs of workout capris and was picky about the stay-up factor. I bought three pairs from Athleta (currently not feeling LuluLemon at all) and get this: I KEPT ALL THREE. Whattttt?
Here are the three winners of WILL THEY STAY UP?
Higher waist. They have that double decker waist band thing that Athleta does on their training pants which does add a little bulk to the midsection but not THAT MUCH and if that’s what it takes to have pants that stay up, that’s fine. It’s not like I’m wearing crop tops for fuck’s sake AMIRIGHT? haha. Crop tops. BWAHAHAHAHHAHA. Those are for young people. Stupid stupid young people. Anyway, I ran in them. Outside. And YES! THEY WILL STAY UP! They will also look stupid with any shoe that’s not plain grey or black, but oh well. THEY WILL STAY UP.
The seams near the hips are a little weird, and I almost took them back because I thought they look a little bit like someone drawing circles around and pointing to my saddle bags, (Notice how the model has her hand in front of hers? Not an accident.) but…meh! Nobody in boot camp is looking at my shit, so fuck it. I like the polka dot cut-outs and I’m too lazy to find another type of pant that won’t fall down but has a modern detail on it so IMMA KEEP EM.
AND YES THEY WILL STAY UP!
last but not least:
OK. These are the weird one-offs I was curious about a while back. (See post here.) They are less expensive than any other pant from Athleta, and aren’t a line like the Sonar or Chaturanga, but they’re high-waisted and their description said they were for high intensity training, so…I had to check them out.
What’s different about them is the fabric: it’s a little thicker than the normal Athleta fabric (which is good, because Athleta’s fabric is a little on the thin side) but it’s really slippery. Like, slipperier than a bathing suit-slippery. Slipperier than 80’s shiny purple spandex-slippery. I don’t know why. And I thought that would make them fall down, but…they didn’t, so I’m keeping these guys too. Who knew?
The only bad news is they only have them in pink, and in XS or XL now…so I’m sorry that I brought you late news on that. Maybe they’ll bring them back for the spring catalog.
But what have we learned? If you’re a pear and/or have trouble finding workout or running pants that stay up, try the Athleta Sonar line. And no, they’re not paying me. But seriously, they should probably start, right? AHEM.
Good luck getting your workouts in over the holidays! I’ll be using Aaptiv / The App Formerly Known as Skyfit. I’ll let you know how it goes. MERRY ALMOST CHRISTMAS!
Duuuude. Ketosis didn’t work for me. Or rather, I suck and ate too much butter (like all the time, as a snack) so I didn’t lose any weight doing keto (except like for two weeks in July) and have actually been GAINING on the world’s favorite miracle diet, so…I have no choice but to quit… Eating butter all of the time.
It’s been almost a week since I gave up on keto. I stopped counting vegetable carbs, or more accurately, I’ve been eating whatever vegetables I want instead of basically only greens. And I’m not drinking Bulletproof Coffees and not eating butter like a food, and not eating whole packs of bacon for lunch because *surprise* that shit wasn’t working.
I’ve stopped gaining weight. (Duh.) But now that I’m not peeing purple strips anymore, I’m back to feeling like the walking dead. I have NO ENERGY. None. Zombie all the time. It sucks. So now I have to figure out some way to tell myself I’m not doing keto (so I don’t eat butter like it’s food) while tricking myself into doing keto. Because this shit is not OK. Right now, I’m basically telling my body “here, you can have like a teeny bit of carbs, and some fat, but not enough fat/too many carbs to put you in ketosis, and not enough carbs to give you any energy at all: just the right ratio to give you no fuel whatsoever, cool? Cool. Good luck with that.”
No wonder I’ve been skipping workouts all week. Ugh.
If you’re a “normal person,” who can just eat all of the kinds of food without sending yourself into a binge or feeling like absolute ass…In other words, if you have no idea what I’m talking about…just be thankful for a second, OK? Because some people aren’t normal, and struggle all of the time with some issue or another and get ZERO joy from eating because food isn’t food, it’s a crazy mishmash of drugs that we’re trying to navigate so we can just FEEL NORMAL for one hot second…BE THANKFUL YOU BLISSFULLY OBLIVIOUS NORMAL PEOPLE!! I hate you. I mean I’m really jealous of you. Be thankful for the awesome superpower you don’t even know you have, OK? OK. Merry Christmas. Enjoy your cookies ya lucky batches.
If there’s no padding, then there’s nippage, and that’s not OK. I don’t think we need, like, Wonderbra-level padding, just something to smooth things out. That’s all I, on behalf of all humanity, ask for. Well, that and one more thing…
Almost every single top or sports bra I have that came with padding, came with REMOVABLE PADDING.
No seriously, I’m asking.
Because I don’t know anyone who would want to
-choose to show their nips to their Crossfit class
-hand wash foam disks, separately from everything else, and then try do the magic origami trick that is necessary to get them back into those stupid little slits and back in the right position.
WHY ARE THEY REMOVABLE? WHAT IN THE EVER LOVING FUCK WITH THAT?
They’re pressed against the sweatiest stinkiest part of your body. They need to be washed. Why not just make them part of the bra, SO WE CAN WASH THEM, without having to search for rogue foam cups beneath the washing machine agitator like they’re rare artifacts in Egypt and we are Indiana Jones in the mother fucking temple of mother fucking doom?
Putting on a jog bra sucks. Taking one off sucks even more. Washing them sucks because you have to use cold water, and special detergent in order to not destroy the spandex, and air dry them, and then when you go to put them on again THOSE STUPID PADS ARE EITHER MISSING, OR THEY’RE FOLDED IN HALF AND HAVE SOMEHOW MIGRATED THROUGH A SECRET INTERNAL TUNNEL IN THE BRA AND ARE NOW IN THE BACK STRAP BY THE CLASP. BY THE CLASP!!!! That’s enough to make me say screw it and not work out, right there.
Then you have to spend ten minutes swearing, and moving them half inch by half inch back into their place, and then unfold them THROUGH THE FABRIC, blindly trying to figure out if the three points are in the the right three corners of the bra.
FOR FUCK’S SAKE. It sucks enough being a woman. SPORTSWEAR COMPANIES, PLEASE. SEW THE CUPS INTO THE BRAS.
JUST SEW THE DAMN CUPS INTO THE BRAS. Removable cups are stupid and pointless.
Just sew the damn cups into the bras. Please.
So I can stop doing this. This is just sad. Fix it.
I am not normal. I am not a person who can do things like:
-have things in the house that taste good
-eat a piece of bread without eating all of the bread and then everything else in a 30 mile radius
It’s a long story. But the story’s not the point. The point is, for the last few months I’ve been trying being a Ketonian. And failing. And succeeding. And failing some more. But overall, it has made life SO MUCH EASIER because for the first time in my life I’ve stopped thinking about food. And I used to think about food pretty much all of the time. What food I was going to eat, what food I shouldn’t eat, what food other people can eat that I can’t handle, how it sucks not being able to handle normal foods like a normal person, waaaah waaah waaah blah blah blah. But ketosis just muted all of that noise.
How? Why? Being a “Kentonian” means following a ketogenic diet, which isn’t a diet, it’s a strategy of eating that switches your body from carb-fueled to fat-fueled. Why would you want that? 1. Because your brain prefers to run on fat 2. Because it’s a much more steady energy level and 3. You never fucking think about food.
Hey Aimee, isn’t that Atkins? Sort of. But the difference is, in Atkins they’re like “eat all of anything, as long as it’s under a certain amount of carbs.” But we all know deep down that “go nuts and eat all you want”will never work unless the thing you’re going nuts on is greens. FUCK. I know. But hey, eating more oil and good butter is pretty great. You should check it out.
Ketosis is different from Atkins in that it limits your protein. For me, the limit is 20g per meal, which is a totally reasonable serving. And the carb limit is 20g/day, which is like a good salad or two. You don’t eat starchy carbs. You eat more fats. And you’re satiated and can go long long periods of time without thinking about food. And it’s pretty great.
There’s a lot more to it than that, and you can look up all the Keto experts yourself. Maybe start with Dave Asprey and his podcast and the BulletProof Diet book. If you’re someone like me who has a hard time with the highs and lows and cravings and crashes and binges and food drugs and all of that mess, you should check out Keto. It really simplifies things. Also, I have a friend who’s been doing it pretty much all year and she’s lost 55lbs. Which is awesome. But she tracks. And I’m a lazy undisciplined shit.
Getting into ketosis sucks. That’s true. You do get the carb flu (feel totally run down for a week) and all of that. But once you’re in it, it’s easier to get back into it when you fall out. And you will fall out. Often. I’m out of ketosis right now because I committed the horrendous crime of drinking Coke Zero this week. Here are some other bullshit little things can throw you out of ketosis: protein bars, sugar free gum, diet pop, too much caffeine, one Goddamn cocktail, looking at a picture of a cupcake…It’s lame. But it’s also not that fucking hard if you actually try, Aimee.
I lost 7 lbs doing Keto this year. Without working out. (Sinus infections.)
But I’ve gained it back because I haven’t been counting my portions and stuff lately. Also, because of all the sinus infections, and antibiotics and steroids I’ve been on to treat the sinus infections, my shit’s a little messed up, and I need to eat more produce for a while. (One word: Microbiome.)
But I’m pro-Keto. I dig it. I dig bulletproof coffee. I dig eating salads with shit-tons of olive oil. I dig brisket. I think I might even like eating fat better than eating cookies now. Because eating fat makes me not think about cookies. And that’s a friggin’ miracle, people. A MIRACLE I SAY!
J. Crew now has a workout wear line, in collaboration with New Balance.
Real talk? J.Crew having a workout wear line is funny, and don’t think I’m not going to call their shit out for it. There has never been a single muscle on a single female model in all of J.Crew, and the preferred workout program of the waif prep schooler is anorexia/bulimia, not Crossfit or even barre. Maybe her mom went to a barre class once, but she joked the whole time about how she needed a martini to get through it. Yes, I know J.Crew is an aspirational brand that true East Coast Wasp folk with Old Money and Important Art don’t really shop, but I’m a middle class girl from the midwest, so that’s as far as my actual knowledge of/ignorant assumptions about true prep go.
Deep breath. Focus. OK. J.Crew x NB. Let’s seewhatchagot.
1. Seamless Hoodie 2. Softshell Jacket (Practical, cool, athleisureness.) 3. Perfect Tank Top (Love the thick stripe, perfectly sea-preppy.) 3. Performance Color Block Leggings (Get the blue and orange, not the blue and grey b/c they’ll chop you off and make you look thicker in the thigh.) 4. Polka Dot Running Short (So cute they look like PJs.)
1. Seamless Capri Leggings (pro: they’d be super comfortable. con: they come in three shades of hell no, super unflattering if you have any bumps and also they will show all of the butt sweat.) 2. Performance Capris in Color Block Polka Dot (Light grey? For the back panel? That’s not gonna work. For an-y-body.)
That’s it. I don’t have time to go through it all. Overall: it’s brand-appropriate in style, patterns and colorways. But none of it is anything you can’t find anywhere else. Conclusion: they’ve checked the obligatory “we have a fitness line now” box, it all makes sense for them, but it didn’t push anything, and it’s definitely not a “holy shit did you see what J.Crew did in fitness???” Which is kind of a shame because I think there’s a lot of potential there… I have ideas….call me Jenna. 😉