Diet inspiration from a lazy Sunday morning

Despite my push to increase my workouts last week (successful, too – I logged 450 minutes of gym time in the last 7 days!), I have been gaining weight. I blame my all-inclusive trip to Punta Cana, my singledom that is encouraging me to go to bars and drink in order to meet guys in NYC, and my training last week that had catered food about which I had little to no choice in eating. Okay, so maybe those tequila shots with my team were another story…

Speaking of which, last night I was out with my friend Kristen until the wee hours of the morning – 3am! I don’t think I’ve been out that late in months. I still got up at 8:30am, but I was just not motivated in the least to go work out. Instead, I spent the morning curled up in bed catching up on Top Chef – a real luxury for me! I’ve gotten in the habit of only watching my TV shows while at the gym or while doing something else, so it was really a treat to just get to curl up in bed, skip the gym, and have nowhere else that I needed to be. I decided I deserved it!

One of the other (usually guilty pleasure at the gym) shows I caught up on was Bachelor Pad, and it provided a surprising epiphany. While watching one of the contestants sprint around a pool in her bikini, I was amazed how tiny and light she was. Something in it struck a chord with me – I remember how this past spring, when I was still marathoning, I was at a pretty low weight and I had that feeling of airiness and lightness when I walked. I’ve gained a bit of weight since then, but something about watching Natalie run around just made me really take a good hard look at my weight goals. I’m not saying that Natalie or any of the contestants on Bachelor Pad are healthy (frankly, I’d bet that a lot of them starve themselves), but I want to get down to my healthy-but-light-and-airy weight that I used to have. I miss that feeling, and I’m hopeful that this little epiphany will stick with me as inspiration.

It sounds silly to write about, but just that one little scene had a big impact on me. It also made me think of the old dieting cliche, “nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” I never really gave much credence to that motto, but somehow it now really resonates with me. I want to feel like I look fabulous in whatever I wear, rather than picking out the tops that hide my little tummy pooch (admittedly not a serious problem, but it does annoy me when I’m getting ready to go out). While I’ve been working on my exercise a lot lately, I’ve learned from past experience that for me, my weight doesn’t have a lot to do with how I work out; it’s primarily affected by my diet.

With that in mind, I set about making a really delicious but light dinner: shiritaki vegetable noodle soup. Shiritaki noodles are made from tofu, so a huge bowl of them only has 20 calories. I made a really simple soup to go with them: chopped carrots, celery, onions, and parsley – so good. Plus, I had just come across a great blog post that gave me some new knife skills to try while preparing it: check out this wonderful video on forming your “claw grip.” For me, the revelation wasn’t so much the claw grip (I’m still working on that), but more the gliding motion she talks about as you chop. I always used to have a problem with celery where it would still be stuck together, connected by one thread! No more.

Perhaps this will get me on the path to becoming a real Top Chef?


  1. Laura, thanks for the heads up on the video! I’ll be honing my technique!

  2. Everyone needs inspiration…even if it comes from reality tv! I have had inspiration come from much stranger places… If it gets you motivated to eat right and take care of yourself then who cares where it comes from :)

  3. I’m with you! I’ve been trying to achieve that Light and Airy feeling for so long!!! I think, though, that just eating right always seems to make me feel better and “Light and Airy” even if I don’t really necessarily feel that way. Food that is good for you makes you feel good! :)

  4. Laura! Your stuggles these past few weeks scare the crap out of me!! When I think about life after marathon training I can’t imagine being able to keep the weight off. I swear I don’t eat THAT much now, yet without that added caloric burn of 30-40 miles a week I feel like I’m going to have to eat like a bird! I know that there is a balance one has to find and your efforts to achive it are impressive. I have no doubt that you will succeed and regain that “light and airy” feeling — and I’ll be taking dubious notes! :)

  5. Wow, what a place to find inspiration! I have also been watching Bachelor Pad. It makes me feel trashy just watching it, and yet I can’t stop ;)

    Btw, I meant to tell you that I have been a long time fan of Patron XO cafe – so good!!

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