Tuesday, December 24, 2013

If the Body Likes

It's the time of year when health related blogs share their tips for surviving the holidays. Some focus on staying active, some on eating, and some on stress. These are all important, but tend to get a bit cliche. This is my first Christmas since I became a more serious athlete. Last Christmas we went to Curacao for the week so I stayed active naturally. I was worried about this week because I flew to my parent's house in chilly NY state yesterday.

Being skinnier helps on planes!

I sat across from Santa!

When I left home it was in the mid to high 60s first thing in the morning. Here, we're lucky to break freezing. I see a lot of tough bloggers running in these conditions, but I don't think it's smart for me to do any long or hard runs in the cold when I'm only here for 5 days. It was about 22 when I got up this morning, so I headed to the local Planet Fitness. I purchased a black card membership before I left so that I could use this gym while I was in town.

I can't resist a scale like this. Wasn't sure if I would post this, but this is a weight loss blog so here it it: 143, the absolute lowest I've seen since maybe middle school?
I had planned to do 3 miles today with a goal of negative splits and my last mile at tempo. This is much easier to control on a treadmill. I did my 5 minutes of warm up followed by a mile at 5.8, a mile at 6 and a mile at 6.2. I haven't run on a treadmill since April so I knew it would be weird getting used to it. I also didn't like having to watch myself for 35 minutes! After I finished I stretched and did 30 minutes of strength and core.

Seriously rocking the layers!

The title of this post comes from my absolute favorite online yoga practice from My Yoga Online with Jesse Enright. It's a 30 minute sequence that focuses on movement, strength & flexibility. There's a section where he encourages you to do a cobra or upward facing dog "if the body likes". I love that phrase because I think listening to your body is the most crucial skill you can foster on a health journey. Every decision I make in terms of food or movement or sleep starts with a self-assessment and mindfulness of what my body needs.

My advice for the holiday season is to continue to treat your body as you would any other time. If you always run 3 miles on Wednesday, the fact that it's Christmas shouldn't stop you from trying to fit it in. Yesterday I got picked up for the airport at 8AM and didn't have time to exercise. I chose to get a half caf coffee at the airport and later regretted it. I felt jittery and then a crash (I almost never drink caffeine). I wish I had respected my body instead of my id!

My flight was delayed and I faced another challenge - to find a vegan lunch to bring on the plane. Fortunately I brought some raw veggies and an apple with me, and I bought a boxed meal with black bean dip and a mix of edamame, pepitas, and watermelon seeds. This was the best choice, but unfortunately didn't fill me up like my normal lunch would.

Draft kombucha!
When I got to Albany my Mom and I visited Honest Weight Co-op and it was amazing - one of the best natural food stores I've ever been to! I've spent today making delicious and healthy vegan desserts, wrapping gifts, and hanging with my family. I don't know when I'll post again, so I hope you all have a restful holiday that makes your body happy!

Ridiculously good Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Bars from Ambitious Kitchen

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