This photo was taken during a race last year. And I am so fat in it. When I want to give up, I look at this photo. Currently I am down more than 13 pounds from this photo.
Andy and I really needed to get out of town but didn’t have alot of time. So I drove us to the Oregon Coast this last weekend for some sunshine, salt water taffy, and together time. The weather was amazing!
I’ve been eating really well lately. I mean like seriously awesome.I roasted Brussel Sprouts for the first time. I’ve been eating lots of roasted vegetables and salads. Beyond the Sunday night smoked tuna with crackers and Gardenburgers, I haven’t really had much processed food. Until yesterday.
For lunch I had a wet burrito, later in the day a small piece of chocolate cake I made for Andy and for dinner 4 slices of super thin crust pizza (I ran 9 miles yesterday – BTW). And boy did I pay for it. I woke up at 1:30am in the morning with a burning stomach. After tossing and turning for an hour, I finally got up took some Alka Seltzer and laid on the couch for awhile. Initially I thought I had the stomach flu because I felt nauseous and cold. But after looking at my food diary this morning I realized that my stomachache was due to a sudden introduction of high fat food into my diet.
Now it’s back to my smoothies, salads and soups. The fast living diet of the past is well in the past.
I’ve been working with my sports nutritionist for about 2.5 half weeks. I’m not counting the first week when she simply looked at what I normally ate because I wasn’t altering what I ate. The good news is that the weight is coming off. My clothes are looser and I’m wearing items that I haven’t worn in a few years. Andy actually thought I had bought some new clothes as he hadn’t seen many of the shirts in several years. The bad (maybe not bad) news is that the dieting has bubbled emotional issues to the surface.
I went on my first diet when I was twelve with my mom. We used the Slim Fast Juice method which did not work. I’m sorry but replacing 2 meals with a gritty tasting ‘shake’ isn’t something that your average twelve year old can get behind. Over the years, I’ve tried most diets on the market including diet pills which made me C-R-A-Z-Y. I tried starving myself in my teens and purging which is so so so gross. I have some deep control issues over food and trust issues with my body. Talking about this with a stranger is both uncomfortable and liberating at the same time.
Yesterday during our weekly check-in, I struggled to not break down and cry. Counting calories and being hypervigiliant is exhausting and stressful. I want to be happy when I see photos of myself not cringing in how bad they will be. I want to smile at race photographers and not duck my head hoping they will find another subject. I want to be able to walk around confidently in tank tops and shorts. I want people to not be surprised when I tell them I’m a runner.
Undoing years of bad habits is tough. I want to get to the start line of Mt. Hood 50 in the best shape of my life. I want to be lean, focused and ready to complete my first 50 miler. I want this so bad. Bad enough to drastically reduce my intake of alcohol. Bad enough to eat salads instead of fried chicken. And bad enough to stop eating happy hour food.
I made African Peanut Stew which happens to be vegan. I have found that eating vegan is a great way to watch my calories.
As a long distance runner, I’ve really struggled with losing weight. It seems counterintuitive that while running 40+ miles a week you wouldn’t be able to drop pounds but it is. In fact, I’m not the only runner I know who has trained for a race and gained weight.
It’s a balancing act to eat enough calories to be able to run but not so much to prevent you from losing weight. It’s very tricky. I’m sticking to 1500 calories a day plus whatever I burn while running. On a day I run 6+ miles, I don’t have a lot of issues. I need to be careful that I don’t waste calories on things like desserts, mindless snacks or ridiculous portions. However on rest days or days with less running, I have difficult decisions to make.
My Sports Nutritionist is helping me realize some the impact that past decisions have had: drinking your calories, large portions, eating out a lot,etc. She’s educating me on nutrition because over the years the nutrition landscape has changed drastically. I remember when eggs were considered bad for you and when low fat foods were all the rage. Over the years, I’ve developed some really ingrained bad habits that have been really hard to shake. But I’m learning some good habits:
After almost 2 weeks of really trying, I am seeing the some lower numbers on the scale which is encouraging.
One of the big goals I have for 2015 is to get a better handle on long term financial planning. And by get a better handle, I mean actually understand it and have a plan. It’s embarrassing to be this age and have such a limited knowledge of financial planning.
So almost 2 weeks ago I started working with a sports nutritionist. She’s an ultra runner too! I’ve tried losing weight on my own the last couple of months unsuccessfully and felt like I could use some outside help. Especially while training.
The first week the nutritionist monitored my eating via My Fitness Pal. I logged all my food, drink and exercise into the site and gave her permission to view it all. It’s very nerve wracking giving someone access to that level of detail in your life. All of your food shame is right there for them to see. But I need help so I need to be honest about what I’m eating and drinking.
After a week of monitoring (and what a week it was! Andy’s birthday plus clients in town), the nutritionist gave her recommendations. She wanted to start with small changes. I drink my coffee with a lot of cream and sugar. I’ve tried Stevia and other additions to my coffee but hate the taste. The nutritionist asked me to cut back to one coffee a day. That buys me about 100+ calories a day. We also talked about my consumption of alcohol which I knew was going to be on the chopping block.
I successfully countered her ‘only drink for special occasions’ with getting to drink a few days a week and never more than 2 drinks at a time. She also cautioned me about my eating out. I suggested that I choose better places to eat and better options. We decided to leave my daily calories at around 1500 a day without exercise.
I thought cutting down on alcohol would be the hardest part of this process. It turns out I can pretty easily have 2 drinks and stop. But I do miss drinking more coffee. Especially in the afternoon.
She also recommended drinking a lot more water which has proven to be a very interesting thing. During my long run on Saturday, I had to jump off the trail 3 times in less than 3 hours which is unheard of for me. I usually run a little dehydrated on runs. At work I’m hitting the bathroom pretty frequently.
One of the most interesting changes is that skipping a meal is not an option. I’m hungry when I wake up in the morning. I usually starve off the hangries before lunch with carrots and hummus and dinner needs to be eaten before 7:30 at night.
But I am seeing some great benefits. The scale is showing smaller numbers, my clothes are looser and my skin looks pretty good. I’m also sleeping really well at night. My work life is benefiting from my increased energy and mental clarity.
There are 166 days until Mt. Hood 50. And I’m doing everything I can to get myself to the start line in the best shape of my life.