A Half Marathon in Clearwater on April 10th!! COUNT ME IN!! My mom typically walks/jogs the 5K so we should both be there. Gotta love the beautiful Clearwater beach venue...oh yeah, and that bridge/causeway that we have to run over!!
Registration opens on Dec. 31st for all Iron Girl events (except Columbia which is already filled) so get your credit card and typing fingers ready....the events will fill up fast! I won't be able to attend Iron Girl Atlanta (it would have been my 4th year in a row!) because my brother is graduating with his Masters from Carnegie Mellon on the same day. I will be sure to cheer from Pitt, PA. for all the future Iron Girls in my favorite, and most challenging, short-course race.
Check out IRONGIRL.COM for the listing of all Iron Girl events.
It wasn't very hard for me to come up with a topic for my Dec. Iron Girl article. The month before and after the New Year can often be a stressful and/or life-changing time for many people. For me, I make resolutions all the time...I call them goals. I love the power of goal setting and working hard for something that I want to achieve. Rather than listing New Year exercise or nutrition tips (as if you need any more "suggestions" in your brain that is flooded with nutrition and exercise advice) my goal was to write an article that would inspire and motivate you in order to think more positively about food and exercise.
I hope you enjoy my latest Iron Girl article from the FREE newsletter.
New Year Changes
Marni Sumbal M.S., CISSN, USAT level 1 coach, dietetic intern
In anticipation for the New Year, weight-loss seekers will adhere to a "not allowed to eat" list when trying to reach body, fitness and/or health goals. If you are seeking a healthy and maintainable diet, there is no reason why you should live a life of restriction, hunger and monotony. Nor should you strictly abide by a list suggesting of certain foods that are bad for your body. When it comes to living a quality-filled life, your priority should be on foods that will fuel your workout routine and your lifestyle.
With the New Year upon us, radically reducing calories, portions and food choices may eventually lead to extreme hunger, irritability, unpleasant mood swings, frequent drops in blood sugar and a loss in energy. If drastic measures are in your future, it is time to stop "dieting" and to learn how to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise.
Weight loss from meal replacement bars, frozen dinners and weight loss cookies may quickly sabotage your health. An extreme drop in calories (and food choices) is likely to increase your risk for injury and illness. Before you know it, your goal of losing weight to become a faster, stronger or healthier Iron Girl sets the path for a lethargic and unmotivated athlete attempting to train for the sport that she has grown to love.
When it comes to making healthy changes in the New Year, consider all of the foods you can and should eat. Forget about counting calories. Start logging miles, distances and speeds. Although the well-known saying "calories in, calories out" is probably ingrained in your head, weight loss and maintenance requires that you create a balanced diet focused on a variety foods to meet your individual nutrient needs. Learn how to feel satisfied at meals and recognize hunger cues. Discover how to time your nutrition with your training so your body is fueled before you exercise and quickly re-fueled after.
By bumping up the nutrient content of your meals and snacks, you'll notice a feeling of satisfaction without a loss in energy. Learn to love the beauty that is found in fresh produce, whole grains, quality protein and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Opting for the "healthiest" processed food should not be a tedious task. Don't be fooled by fancy labels and eye-catching nutrition claims. By reading ingredient lists, you will quickly decipher the most wholesome foods from the most processed foods, without regard to calories. Who knows, eventually you may develop new eating habits and an appreciation for new heart-healthy foods.
Making a change is not about eliminating foods. Take it slow with your changes so that you learn what works (strengths) and doesn't work (weaknesses/triggers) for your lifestyle and exercise routine. Keep in mind that your daily nutrient needs may change depending on your current or upcoming exercise routine.
Starting today, respect your one and only body. Learn to listen to yourself in times of hunger, boredom and exercise. Remember, the same body that you overlook to fuel throughout the day is the same body that you expect to reach a finish line or set a personal record. Lastly, be patient in the New Year. There is no perfect diet, so you should never feel like a failure. Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try.