Tag Archives: health

Turkey Trot: The Aftermath

Sounds dramatic, huh?

I’m sure you read my post about getting ready for this year’s 5K, after seriously struggling last year. And I know you are dying to to find out how I did. Of course, if you follow me on Twitter, you already know . . .

. . . that I kicked ass!

And just to clarify my own tweet, I beat my time by 3 minutes and 24 seconds. (And lordy, you know 24 seconds make a difference!) My goal was to finish in 48 minutes, which would have been a two minute time cut. So I beat that goal and more, so you could say I’m pretty stoked about that!

The funny thing is that I felt like I was really having a hard time during the race so the final time kind of surprised me. They threw me for a loop this year and reversed the course direction, so instead of going down a steep hill with about a mile left, we went up a steep hill about a mile in. And I mean steep. Actually, it was one little hill, right into a bigger hill, right into a really  big hill. We had gotten off to a good start so I was disappointed to come to a slow down so early, but I trudged through and just kept telling myself that the worst was over early on so the race could only get easier. It was tough. My legs were jello after only 20 minutes, but you best believe I was going to keep going strong.

Did I mention that I had some encouragement along for the ride?

Me and mom. All I can focus on is how cute mom looks and how my shirt is all jacked up and stuck on my belt.

That’s my bestie, mom, on the left. Even though her rah rah-ing sometimes annoys me, there is no one else I’d want to do this with! I don’t think I mentioned before that I’ve been doing the boot camp with mom, which is one of the reasons I’ve loved it so much! (Awwwwwww!)

Anywho, we rocked this race. 2012: Chip time, 46:48; Pace, 15:04 vs 2011: Chip time, 50:12; Pace, 16:10

I’ve done bunches of 5Ks over the years, but the last time I was under 47 minutes was at least nine years ago and I think more like 10 or 11. So, yeah, that’s pretty awesome.

So to recap, mom and I are awesome and killed it this year. I’m already looking forward to next year. I’m gonna smoke those turkeys.

(Turkeys, get it? It’s a Turkey Trot? Sigh.)


Turkey Trot Trot Trotting Along

Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving, which can only mean one thing . . . it’s Turkey Trot time!



I’ll be doing a Turkey Trot 5K to benefit the Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services, which assists homeless and low-income families and individuals. It’s my second year doing this race and I’m really looking forward to it. One, it’s a good cause and two, I really sucked it up last year and know I’ll do better this year.

Last year was tough, I really struggled through. Even though I was at a lower weight than other years, I actually was in much worse shape. I was completely unprepared for the race, even though I had registered well in advance. I wasn’t doing any activity and for some reason, thought I’d breeze through. I’ve walked lots of 5Ks without trouble in the past, and I guess I thought I could just jump right back in. Big mistake. I struggled almost from the start.

Cut to this year and I’m more prepared. One, I’ve been doing a boot camp class since September that has really helped with conditioning. I’m able to run more than 15 seconds and have much more endurance. I’ve also been doing a little more exercise than before. I’m not kidding myself that I’m doing enough activity or that I’m going to be able to run a 10-minute mile, but I’m doing more than before and I will be able to step up my game. Last year I also had trouble walking in the cold weather, so in addition to the outdoor boot camp, I’ve been walking in the mornings to get used to that weather. I think a big problem last year was that I was unfamiliar with the course and kept thinking I was nearing the end (despite knowing how long I had been walking and so there was no way it could be the end!). It should help this year knowing the course and also accepting that even if I improve my time, right now I’m not going faster than a 15-minute mile, so unless I’m nearing 45 minutes, I gotta keep going!

Sooooo the race is tomorrow. I’m excited and kind of nervous. I think I will do better and hope I’m not setting myself up for disappointment. I guess if I do the best I can do, there’s nothing to be disappointed in.

I’m also excited to be adding on two virtual races. (If you don’t know, a virtual race is just what it sounds like – a race you can do from anywhere!) The first one I signed up for  is Just Keep Sweating‘s Racing for Relief. While it does have a fee, the fees are donations to the American Red Cross and all proceeds go to Hurricane (Super Storm) Sandy Relief efforts. Although it was many moons ago, I went to school at Hofstra University on Long Island. I lived in the community and always felt like a native. I have a lot of family and dear friends in that area, including in Long Beach/Lido Beach and across the way in Staten Island where the devastation is heartbreaking. So as soon as I saw this virtual race, I jumped at it. P.S. There also are cool prizes!

The second virtual race is just for fun. It’s A Journey to Thin‘s Third Annual Thankful Healthy Blogger 5K. I’m not going to lie, the prizes in this race are pretty awesome!

So what about you? Are you doing a Turkey Trot tomorrow?  Do great!

I’ll post back after my race tomorrow and let you know how I did. Wish me luck!

I Like to Move It, Move It

“I like to move it, move it” the song? Easily one of the top 10 most annoying songs ever. You know it, right? It’s on every 90s workout mix, and I’m sure still heard in rec center aerobics classes across the country.

“I like to move it, move it” the mantra? Awesome. Without a doubt.

I’m talking about moving, or more specifically adding movement to our days. I’ve noticed a great trend of yes, losing weight, but more importantly, being healthy. To me, one of the easiest ways to do that is to add as much movement to my day as possible. I’m fully aware that added movement can’t replace heart-pumping, endorphin-releasing exercise, but I do believe it adds to having a healthier lifestyle.

Like what? Most days I take the train to work, which means I drive to the train station, sit on the train and then walk just two blocks to my office. Not much movement there. But wait! Instead of parking in the first lot, I go way to the back. And I mean back. I park at the very farthest, very last spot. According to my trusty pedometer, this gives me an extra 400 steps each way. So it’s not a marathon but it’s 800 more steps than if I parked in a closer spot. I usually take the train four days a week so that’s 3,200 steps I gain just by parking farther away. Plus, the best part is that by the time I get to my car, all the jerks who run off the train and try to beat each other out of the parking lot are gone and I pull right out. Less stress and added movement? Win!

Other things I do are making multiple trips (up and down the stairs, across the grocery store, etc), walk to someone’s office instead of emailing them, dance parties at my desk, etc. But my favorite way to add movement is going to the bathroom. Or, to be less gross, using a farther bathroom. At home, if I’m downstairs, I’ll use the bathroom upstairs. But the real success story is at work. My office to the bathroom is 42 steps round trip. There are two sets of stairs on my floor. If I take the closest set down one flight it’s 148 steps round trip, and if I take the farther stairs, it’s 180 steps. Now, the key here is that I drink a lot of water. A lot. I try for a minimum of 100 ounces a day, most of which I consume at work. Also I have a teeny tiny bladder, so I’m generally going to the bathroom every hour. Let’s round down and say that it’s seven times per day. Using the closest bathroom, that’s 294 steps. Using the closest stairs to go one flight down is 1,036 steps, and using the farthest stairs is 1,260 steps. So just by using the stairs to go down one flight to another bathroom, there’s a potential for an additional 966 steps a day. Working in the office four days a week, that’s 3,864 steps I can add per week. I mean, I am going to go to the bathroom anyway, I may as well get in some movement!

With just parking in a farther spot and using a different bathroom, I’m walking an extra 1,766 steps every day. Hello? That’s 17 percent of the daily recommendation of 10,000 steps per day. Going to the bathroom and parking my car. Who knew?!

This week I’ll try to think of new ways to add movement to my daily routine. Squats during commercials? Leg raises while making dinner? What do you do to get moving in your every day life? I’m going to have to give this some thought.

In the meantime, move it!



Health, Happiness and the Unexpected

Oh, hey, have ya heard about my awesome husband?

This month was our seventh wedding anniversary. We don’t usually do gifts but wouldn’t cha know it, this year he went all lovey and what not.

Can you guess what I got?

No, definitely not any of those. Flowers? I’m allergic. Chocolate? Hello? Trying to lose weight! Jewelry? Uh, no. (Although I did get a beautiful necklace/earring set for Hannukah last year.) Romance? A ha ha, that’s a good one. Rachid is many things but romantic is not one of them!

I know, I know, you are just dying to know, “Emily, WHAT did you get?” Well get ready for it, honey, cuz it’s going to knock your socks off. Well, maybe not your socks but your shoes at least. Drumroll please  . . .

[anticipation is building]

[curiousity is killing]

[OK, now you’re just getting mad]


Yep, new sneaks. I know, you’re like, he got her sneakers and she’s all pressed? Well, yeah, I kinda am.

First let me say that this wasn’t a “I want you to exercise so I’m buying you sneakers” gift. Rachid may have his faults but not supporting me or judging me is not among them. He has never once said anything about my weight. Not when I gained 50 pounds in our first six months together and then more after that. Not when I lost 70 pounds and then gained half back. Not when I’ve been back on Weight Watchers for 19 months and lost a grand total of 15 pounds. And definitely not when I’ve even gained back six of those pounds. (Man, this is depressing).

The sneakers actually were his way of supporting me. He can’t relate to my struggle, I mean, dude is North African. Here’s the thing about North Africans – the men are skinny and the women have a bit more weight on them. This guy is a buck 25 soaking wet and can’t gain weight if he tries. So no, he doesn’t understand why I can’t just lose the weight, but he does want to support me. The problem is there’s not much he can do, short of duct-taping my mouth shut.

When I told him I was thinking about joining a relay team for the Baltimore marathon but that I was scared I couldn’t do it, his immediate response was “of course you can, what can I do to help?” Since then I’ve been mentioning that I really needed a new pair of sneakers. We were out one day looking for shoes for our son and Rachid said he wanted to buy me new sneakers for an anniversary present. Now, the truth is that he probably would have bought them anyway but it was still super sweet and pretty funny. It’s not the gift of my dreams, but it’s something really thoughtful and something I can actually use.

So happy anniversary to us and cheers to my super, duper awesome husband! Kanbghik, habibi.

Easier Said Than Done?

My kid got two notes home from school last week so I’ve been working with him on making good choices, which got me thinking, if it’s easy enough to tell a 4-year-old, “you just have to make good choices,” shouldn’t it be just as easy to say “you just have to make good choices” when it comes to diet and exercise? Now that gets me thinking that I may need to take it easy on my kid because we all know that’s it’s not as simple as that. Telling someone to make good choices is easy; actually making good choices is a lot harder.

For Kalil we do a behavior chart. He loves getting a sticker on the days he has good behavior, and hates when I write in what he did on the days that his behavior needs work. We keep the chart on the refrigerator so he can look at it all the time.

His chart ran out of dates so I had it on the table, which got me thinking (yes, again with the thinking), if it works for him, why not for me? So, ladies and gentlemen, may I please introduce you to mommy’s good choices chart?!

I’m pretty visual, so maybe this will help keep me on program. (I am kinda looking forward to the stickers!) I’m not sure if the chart will see refrigerator action, but that might not be a bad idea. Now when Kalil doesn’t make a good choice, he has consequences depending on the severity of what he did — said the f-word at school, no bike for one week; threw a toy, toy taken away. I’m not sure that a punishment system will work for me, especially since I’d be punishing myself, but it is something to think about.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep reminding myself, “make good choices.”