Renaissance Periodization… for a Body-Positive Vegetarian Runner?

I believe that “diet” is a bad word.  I believe that there’s a lot of evil happening at the hands of the diet industry and their co-conspirators (looking at you, women’s mags).   I believe that our society has done a shamefully good job of teaching girls and women that they should always be “trying to lose weight” and should never be happy with their bodies.  I believe that men need to speak about women differently.  I believe that women need to speak about themselves and each other differently.  I believe that girls need to be raised differently — including but not limited to changes to shape of their toys and the appearance of their Disney characters.  I hope my kids never go on diets, and I don’t plan to use that word in front of them.

I set this all up to say — I’m going on a diet.  A real one.  With rules.  And Excel charts.  It’s not touchy-feely.  It’s not “eating by intuition.”  It’s actually the opposite of how I’ve been peacefully but unsuccessfully “trying to lose weight” for the past several years.  Which is exactly why I chose it.

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Quitting the Gym: What’s Next? ClassPass?

I’ve finally cancelled my gym membership.  There are just too many free running paths and too many (expensive but really, really) good boutique studios.

Even though access to the gym was unlimited, I found that when I made it there (rarely), I didn’t get as much out of it as Orangetheory or a reformer pilates class.  I just sort of wandered around for 25 minutes, lifted a few weights while trying not to get in people’s way, and struggled to find something good on the TVs while stair-stepping and wishing I was outside.  The yoga instructors were good, but it was hard to fit the classes in with my work schedule and even harder to motivate myself to get up early for a class I hadn’t specifically paid for.  (There is always that calculus in the dark hours of the morning, when my bed is so so warm – losing the $30 I paid for my pilates class and sleeping for another hour, or sucking it up?  Money is a pretty good motivator.)  The barre classes at the gym were too crowded and were generally not as good as barre at Xtend Barre and Barre3.  The spin instructors couldn’t keep a beat.   I don’t like setting my own weights or counting my reps, so I only really like lifting with a trainer or my husband:


Now that I’ve freed up my conscience and an extra $100 each month, here are some of the great things I’m looking forward to…

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My Name is Athlettuce. And I’m Addicted to Smoothies.

 My name is Athlettuce.  And I’m addicted to smoothies.

I’ve had a smoothie almost every morning for at least six months, and I’m showing no signs of stopping.  I have one on days I run, on days I lift, on days I sleep in.   They make me feel so, so good, and like I’m starting my day on the right foot.  They are also portable–I can tuck them into the side pocket of my backpack and drink once I get to work or after Orangetheory.  I can drink while walking the dog.  Or I can enjoy at home on the couch.  They are easy to digest, so I don’t need to wait long after drinking one to work out, but they are also refreshing and protein-packed to help with recovery.

I should note that I’m not like those creative folks on Instagram coming up with a variety of colorful smoothie bowls with lines of seeds and nuts and coconut strips on top.  No, I’m more of a practical smoothiewoman.


Here’s what I throw in the blender:

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Orange…what? Orangetheory.

A month ago,  I had never heard of Orangetheory.  But when someone in my office mentioned it, I was completely intrigued and signed up for my first free trial class.  Five classes later, I’m ready to report back to you!  Whether it is here on this blog or somewhere else, I strongly recommend reading a bit about Orangetheory before starting. Also, show up at least 20 minutes early to your first class to get situated.  I know a lot of fitness studios say that and then leave you standing there for 19 minutes.  But for Orangetheory, they really mean it.  It’s a little complicated.

What is Orangetheory? 

Orangetheory Fitness is a heart rate-based workout class, which uses intervals of rowing, running, and floor exercises to burn calories and build strength and endurance.  Its underlying philosophy is that when we engage in high-intensity intervals (reaching at least the “orange zone” of 84% or higher of maximum heart rate), our metabolism keeps running and burning more calories throughout the day (i.e., “afterburn”).

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