Real World, Real People
Back to Reality interview with college student and aspiring spanish teacher, Natalie Tanenbaum
1. What are your goals in terms of fitness and nutrition?
As a college student, it is really hard for me to go out drinking three times a week, eat late-night food, and then not feel guilty about it the next day. Furthermore, because I am surrounded by predominantly unhealthy eaters, as well as restaurants that do not necessarily prepare the healthiest food, I have to be extremely proactive, and really take it upon myself to engage in healthy eating and exercise habits.
During the months that I am away at school, my primary goal is essentially that of damage control. That is, to really try and mitigate the harm that drinking and late night eating wreak on my body, with as much quality eating and exercise as possible. So in essence, I am just trying to maintain my weight, and maintain my physique as best I can, while I’m at school. During the summer months however, I look forward to training and getting in the best shape possible. This is obviously hard to do at school, and so I set aside time in my schedule so that I can ensure myself three days of exercise a week.
2. What is a typical breakfast for a woman of your physical prowess?
Everyday, without a doubt, I eat breakfast. It is definitely my favorite meal of the day. I have two variations of the breakfast I eat. The first one consists of approximately a cup of Fage 0% fat (pink label) yogurt with half of a cut up apple, a few blueberries, and a handful of the Bear Naked Go Lean Vanilla Almond flavored granola. The second variation is exactly the same as the first, but instead of the Fage yogurt, I use 0% fat cottage cheese (about a 1/2 cup more or less). In both variations however, I save the other half of the apple, and eat it about an hour later.
3. I know you love doing sprints on the track, and that you are seriously reaping the benefits. How do you eat in the hours before a sprint session, so that you are fueled and ready to give the sprints 100 percent?
At school during the week, I typically workout during my breaks in between classes. On these days, I eat my regular breakfast (variation one or two) as always. When I go to class, along with the other half of the apple, I bring two hardboiled eggs in a zip-lock bag, that I have sprinkled some salt on in advance, and I eat these about 30 minutes before I go to the gym.
4. I know you also have a lot of work to do, and school can make us stressed. What do you do to combat the stress?
For me personally, when I am stressed, I want to workout more than ever. I find that the training not only clears my head, but that it is also unbelievably cathartic. Moreover, I often use working out as an excuse to leave the library. I rationalize that the time I spend out of the library working out, is certainly much better for my overall health than time spent sitting on my couch. I also know that when I work out, I feel better about my body in general. And so if I do end up going out at night on a day that I worked out, and I drink (alcohol) and/or eat poorly, I won’t feel as bad about it.
5. What do you feel that hill sprints and/or sprinting in general, have done for your body? Can you ever go back to just plain old running again?
Hill sprinting has completely changed my body. I have always been an athletic and thin girl, but I have never seen results from running on a treadmill, or jogging around a track, like I do when I am hill sprinting. When I am hill sprinting, eating well, and not going out drinking, I feel great about myself. Hill sprinting has toned all parts of my body (legs, abs, arms etc.), like no other single training exercise had hitherto done. It is such a great feeling when I finish my 20th hill sprint, because my body is completely spent, and I know that my training is done for the day. But what I love the most about hill sprinting as a workout, is that it takes 30 minutes at the absolute maximum to complete, and that sometimes even includes traveling time.