About Time made me cry

I saw About Time on one of the many flights (I had 17 hours to kill) during my spring break journey to Peru and Machu Picchu City. What a heartwarming, good for the soul message it portrays. Tim can travel back in time and change life events. He learns a secret to happiness from his dad, a fellow time-traveler. The quote must be read in a British accent with a half-smile:

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Food to Fight Depression

Healthy-Holistic-Living published this great article — 10 Nutritional Deficiencies That Cause Depression and Mood Disorders.

In addition to the this list, recent studies have shown a correlation between a diet containing gluten and depression. The hypothesis is that gluten causes a decrease in serotonin — the don’t-worry-be-happy neurotransmitter in the brain, a decrease of which leads to anxiety and depression. Another reason that gluten may just be EVIL. Big bummer, right? Not really. Now that we know what the common deficiencies are, we can use food to fight back.

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New Year’s Resolutions Suck

Why do New Year’s Resolutions seem alarmingly similar to “giving up something for Lent”? I cringe when I think about elementary school Robin sitting in CCD class (Catholic Church school) each Sunday approaching Lent. Our teacher required each of us to announce to the class something that we would give up for the next 40 days. I would, inevitably, each year say “chocolate”, thinking how that was my absolute favorite treat and I would be so good and pious if I gave it up. I’d spend the next, roundabout 17 days thinking about how delicious chocolate is, smelling it everywhere, dreaming about diving into the chocolate river in Willy Wonka’s factory, finally giving in and having an oreo or eight from Dad’s stash, following said binge by feeling completely guilty about letting God, Jesus, Moses and myself down. This predates any body image issues too!

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Garmin vs Robin


Garmin vs. Robin

One of my great running buddies is sooooo attached to his Garmin, he is known to all as “Garminowitz” (Hi Rich!).

On July 10, 2011 I bought myself a brand-spankin-new Garmin 310xt GPS watch for running and tri training. I posted a picture on the facebook with the caption “Forget diamonds, Garmins are a girl’s best friend!” I was psyched to track my progress and use the tool to get faster. This thing does everything. It gives real-time min/mile and mile/hr pacing, splits, mileage, calories burned, and workout reports uploaded to the computer to share with (brag to) friends.

I learned quickly that my competitive/ego-driven brain did not get along with this tool. I got angry with the watch. When I raced, I usually averaged around 7:30 miles running depending on distance, and 20 mph biking. Granted, I was well aware that I trained at a considerably lower speed, but I wasn’t prepared for how MUCH slower.

I took the watch out to play for the first time on a 15 mile SLR (Saturday Long Run with the DCRoadRunners) around Battery Kemble Park in DC. At the end of a great run with friends in the awesome July heat/humidity, the watch told me I averaged 10:15 min/miles…… What the heck? My first thought was: “THE WATCH LIES! Or it’s broken. Man that’s sloooooow.” It was a punch in the face. Jeez, what was I doing out there, smelling roses?!? Did that even count as a run? On subsequent runs, I paid close attention to my pacing, checked the watch frequently and sped up when I didn’t like the numbers it was telling me. Basically, any time it registered over a 9:30 mile, I sped up…out of vanity. Haha…but seriously, for real.

So round 1 in the “Garmin vs Robin” event goes to the Garmin. I think that new obsession with pacing contributed to the injury I suffered a few months later. There was no such thing as “slow jog days”. I upped my tempo runs and speed work and tried to maintain a “decent pace” (whatever that means) on long runs. Instead of listening to the body for feedback, I let the Garmin dictate my pace…let it drive me into the ground and into an injury.

Since I’ve been healthy again, I have chilled out on using the Garmin. I’m almost ready to try it again. This time I will have a different mindset and game plan. The “decent pace” on long runs is one that feels good to my body – not LOOKS good on the report. I now know myself. If I feel good, I will push, regardless of what a watch says. If I feel crappy, I know I need to chill the heck out and relax. I will try using the Garmin as a “restrictor plate” on long runs or easy runs. Instead of speeding up when it tells me I’m going slow, I will use it to slow down on days I’m supposed to be taking it easy. I’ll try taking it to the track for short bursts of speed. If I don’t like the “results” the watch tells me, it’s getting turned off. There’s a balance out there somewhere that will allow me to take advantage of the spiffy shiny GPS toy… I know it, just gotta find it. Mark my words: Round 2 is going to Robin!

Radiance Retreat Fat Loss Tips


I attended a truly inspiring Radiance Retreat last weekend in Asheville, NC – With Jen Sinkler of Thrive, Jill Coleman of Jillfit.com, Neghar Fonooni of Eat, Lift and be Happy. Here are my big bullet takeaways on NUTRITION for Fat Loss:

MY 3 fav nutrition tips from the retreat:

1)   Move where you can, so you can move where you can’t

2)   Find foods that make you feel good before, during and after you eat them

3)   Ritualize, do not habitualize

#1 – Move where you can, so you can move where you can’t. This idea can apply to weightlifting, running, nutrition, as well as a myriad of other activities. If we have a “big hairy audacious goal” (credit Good to Great by Collir) we seek to achieve in life, how do we get there? Especially if it seems practically unattainable? Go first where you can – take steps you are capable in the direction of the goal – not giant leaps, in order to bring yourself closer to the goal, so the goal will be closer to you. Then make sure you have perspective. As you are taking the steps closer to the goal, it is crucial to know that “slow progress is still progress”.  Imagine your life as a balloon – attempt to fill it up too fast by leaping too far away towards a goal, and you pop it! (i.e. get injured by running/lifting too much too soon, or binge eat after trying a “crash diet”)

#2 – Eat foods that make you feel good before, during and after you eat them. Sure, plenty of foods make us feel good before we eat them. Just thinking about chocolate chip cookies sends warm fuzzy feelings throughout the brain – comfort chocolate, sugary deliciousness. The first few bites of that cookie also feel A-mazing. What happens a few bites in and after the cookie is sometimes a problem. You know that “sugar-high then sugar-crash, followed by more sugar and salt cravings later on” routine? And the “I know that’s going straight to my hips and booty” kind of guilt? Eff that guilt! (right, Neghar?) Pasta can also have this effect on the body. It sounds so good and usually tastes great too, but afterwards the belly is bloated without totally feeling “satisfied” and causes more sugar cravings, heart burn, belly aches, and sometimes leads to a “continuous meal” until bedtime. No bueno. What is muy bueno is figuring out clean foods that please the palette as well as the physique. High protein, high fiber, high water, low/clean carbs is where it’s at.

#3 Ritualize, do not habitualize. Soooo, when is it ok to “cheat” or “reward” ourselves with some yummy (but not necessarily fat-loss-friendly) goodness? The Fat Loss Guru ladies spoke of “ritualizing cheats” instead of making them habits. A habit would be something like coming home from work and immediately cracking beer or pouring a glass of wine. Or perhaps it’s finishing dinner and, without really thinking about it, going straight to the freezer for that nice big scoop of ice cream and chocolate sauce (this is me on some days!). These habits, once they’re formed, can turn deadly for fat loss. On the other hand, planning ahead for that one reeeeally special “treat meal” per week will not only satisfy cravings in the moment, but can help us keep on track during the week – knowing that special meal is right around the corner.  Know exactly what you will have for your treat, when you will have it, and make it gooooood.

Guru’s fav tips:

Jen’s tips:

1)   Add, don’t subtract (look for ways of adding good things to your life – activities, friend time, meditation… instead of just subtracting food)

2)   Move where you can, so you can move where you can’t

3)   Bust out the crock pot (easy-peasy delicious dinners)

Jill’s tips:

1)   Overindulgence is directly related to deprivation

2)   Don’t look for easy. You learn that thru practice. (habit-hacking)

3)   Perspective – slow progress is still progress

Neghar’s tips:

1)   First bite rule (stop eating when it no longer tastes as good as it did the very first bite/sip)

2)   Eyelashes are not shovels (you are allowed to throw away food!)

3)   Find foods that please your palette and your physique