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sam and dave: the workout

Ah President's Day! The day I never seem to get off. It seems that no matter what my job has been over the years, President's day is the one holiday I invariably get screwed on. I just got back from a vacation, so I can't complain too loud. We missed last week's update on Samantha's wedding planning, because I was on said vacation. This week, Sam needs advice! I'll pass you right over so you can commence dispensing indispensable advise.

I'm beginning to struggle a bit with winter weight. Everyone I know keeps saying, “the wedding’s just around the corner”. I know, I know butttt and a very big butt; I can’t seem to get motivated. I’m not going to starve myself. I already run about 1.5 to 2 miles in the morning and then do about 40-45 minutes more at the gym (from 5:03 AM -6:20AM before I have to leave for work at 7:30-ugh!) weekdays. I’m a vegetarian but I eat eggs and dairy…that sums it up. I do have a sweet tooth and love bread but generally I eat pretty healthy. In the spring I will be more active, like I might run in the park or something after work. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what else I might do to kick start better eating and working out? I also want to start doing more weight training to get my arms looking better (I descend straight from Russian peasants so my lineage dictates arms with extra padding…even when I ran the marathon…even when I was on the swim team). Thankfully my genes are not all bad, this photo is of my grandmother (nana Sally) and grandfather (papa Aaron). She looks like a doll, I could never look that angelic but it's a good goal. A dear friend once told me that her grandmother used to call winter weight "winter wool" so I guess come spring I'll have to take off my sweater! Any tips on slimming down healthfully or good weight training tips is so appreciated.


Anonymous on 3:44 AM has a "vow to wow" "program". It's free and has a log for food and exercise. But it also has workout suggestions, and the weight exercises have really been helping. They even tailor it for how much time is left before your wedding. Also, if you don't already do yoga, gaiam makes target-area dvds that you can do at home.

Samantha on 9:59 AM

Thanks, I'll check out, especially for the weights ideas. I have a series of things I do now but it's not making much of a difference so perhaps different routine will be more effective!

bluebird on 10:32 AM

i don't really have much advise for you other than to relax and increase the amount of protein you are eating. do you eat before your early morning workout? that might help to kick start your metabolism. i have a sweet tooth as well, and i've found that replacing my afternoon m&m's with a latte gives me a little bit of sweet plus the protein from the milk holds me over a little longer. i feel like you already do a pretty good job of working out on your own it might be time to invest in a trainer to get you through till the wedding. that's all i've got.

Kathleen on 11:11 AM

The best shape I was ever in was when I did pilates. I felt and saw a difference after about 3 weeks. I do yoga now and love it. But if I was looking to get into shape I think I'd do pilates again.

Anonymous on 12:06 PM

bikram yoga is the best workout ever! it help me drop some pounds. and you see results in no time-

Anonymous on 4:14 PM

I like Bikram Yoga too! Its fun, and I find most athletic activities punishment. I laughed at the Russian heritage thing, because my friend and I started a joke that we were founding members of the "European Peasant Woman Football Team"
You can't tell if we are coming at you forwards or sideways, because are arms are so thick. What a lovely place to put on the weight first!

Elizabeth on 4:35 PM

The easiest and best weight loss advice I ever got was to stop eating after 8pm, (or at least two hours before you go to sleep, so if you go to sleep at nine don't eat after 7.) Period. It's easy to do, gives your body time to digest the food before you go to sleep, and really effective. I still get hungry sometimes, especially if I'm staying up really late, but I find that drinking (decaf) tea gives me enough of something in my belly to stave of the food cravings.

Another thing to try is to count all the calories you eat for two or three days in a row. You may be surprised (I know I was) by how many calories you're actually eating. Once you get a good sense then it's easy to adjust - eating lower calorie items but just as much food. And there will be things that will be easy to substitute, like a 400 calorie frappachino for a 2 calorie tea.

Good luck!

meridith on 7:31 PM

wow, all i can say is i am so impressed by how much you already work out. my goal is to get myself moving that much every day. i have always heard that switching up your routine is good though for a kickstart, that seems to be the general consensus here too. i have 3 months till my wedding and i plan to do the elliptical 4x a week and go to a spinning class 2x, while continuing doing weight watchers. i am really hoping for results.

joy on 9:06 AM

hey sam,

i highly recommend pilates. it helped me a TON for my wedding. it adds tone but makes your muscles more long and lean then weight-training. it's great for posture too. you should still do cardio mixed in for something that will help get your heart rate higher. it's also good to try something new since you're body may be getting used to your current routine.

i have a huge sweet tooth too..and one thing that really helped when i'm trying to not each as much dessert is to only eat fruit during the week when the swet craving comes..or apples dipped in yogurt & granola. then, on the weekends have whatever cake, cookies, ice cream you want. after a week, you actually crave the sweetness from fruit ...

those were my wedding tricks.. ;)

good luck!

Samantha on 1:20 PM

wow, this is all excellent advice. I've heard that doing the same thing all teh time is not that effective, I'm guilty of that. I took a spinning class once and it was killer. I think I'll try again and incorporate it once a week and maybe Pilates once a week. It seems everyone is raving about it! I'm a big tea drinker but I get so many cravings in the afternoon after work. I better start drinking a cup of tea when I get home, maybe that'll help. Great advice everyone, I will keep you posted on my (hopeful) progress, I don't want to join that thick arm football team one of you mentioned-eek!

MissEm on 8:07 PM

Try having yogurt for breakfast and having a green salad with vinaigrette with lunch and dinner. I'm definitely a believer in the higher power of active cultures!