Post run blues / food

4 12 2010

I had no idea there was such a thing as “Post Run Blues”

Now what?

However, after finishing my first half marathon: I have them. I feel sad and lost and not sure what to do with myself. I haven’t run since Sunday (though that will change in a few hours) and when I do get out there in a few hours with my friend Michael, I’m not sure how long I want to run for or where I even want to go. For the last four months of my life, I’ve been preparing to earn my 13.1 wings. Every time I ran (whether it was a mile on the treadmill or for 2 hours outside) the thought of crossing that finish line was always in the forefront of my mind. Last weekend I put all my hard work, thought processes and just plain old sweat into action and came away feeling elated and more in power than I ever had in my entire life.

 

Now I just feel like blah.

I’ve been doing some reading on PRB (post run blues) and am not so shocked to see it’s a common occurrence. I didn’t experience it after any of my shorter races so I wasn’t really prepared for the initial let down of finishing the race on Sunday. When I crossed the finish line I felt like a strong runner and now I’m worried that I won’t even go a mile once I step out my front door in a few hours. I wish someone had told me to expect this feeling of “okay now what”. I guess I experienced it a little when I finished my first triathlon back in September but even then I was thinking about the half marathon. At this point of the adventure, the biggest challenge I had was earning my first 13.1 and now that’s over.

I’ve picked a few “short” races to get to through the rest of the year. Funny how six months ago those “short” races seemed so long in distance. 5k’s and 10k’s seem short to me now. Fun runs. Something to do for 30 – 60 minutes. I’ve got some great challenges picked out for 2011 (including RAGNAR for July) and hopefully finding an Olympic distance triathlon to shoot for (why everything wants to happen the same time as Ragnar, I can’t figure out), but for now I’m just going to sit with my PRB, get through the holidays and keep reminding myself that now that I know I can run 13.1 miles, the race world is my oyster.

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I’ve been wanting to blog about my relationship with food and what I’ve learned about myself over the last 11 months (more so in the last month since hitting goal weight). I get nervous writing about food. You’ll notice I don’t blog too much about what I eat, orĀ  what my daily caloric intake is was or take pictures of my food. While food intake was is a big part of my LCJ it’s a more private affair. This isn’t about turning down an extra piece of cake at a birthday party, or sneaking in some fast food before heading home to cook dinner for the family. It goes much deeper as I’m sure many others out there experience.

I think about food even more so now that I’ve reached goal weight and have gone into what the world of weight loss calls “maintenance”. I’ve decided I can’t rely on counting calories for the rest of my life. It’s not conducive for me. It works for some but it’s too emotionally binding for me to do it at this point of the journey. Counting calories was a safe haven for me while losing the weight. Now it’s become bothersome and counter productive. I’ve been reading about Intuitive Eating and for the last month have been giving it my best shot.

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last month.

Well let me rephrase that. I’ve lived with my behaviors for 35+ years so I’m not really “learning” about myself. It’s more of a “ohhhhhhh so that’s what they call it” type of epiphany. Funny thing about life: you really think you’re the only one. That is until you read something and go “oh wow, so other people do this too?”.

That’s sort of where I am at this point of the IEJ (Intuitive Eating Journey) – discovering that my relationship with food (while private) is not so uncommon in its behavior. I want to delve into it more but for now I’m just figuring out how to go through the day without counting a single calorie and giving myself permission to eat (what a concept!). The last 30 days post goal weight have been successful. I’m weighing in at 169 consistently and have not had one panic attack over food (been stressed out almost to the maximum yes – but no panic attacks).

While the each behavior alone could easily have a blog post dedicated to it, there are some things I’d like to point out about my relationship with food just so I can start to make sense of all the information I’m taking in.

  • I eat almost consistently in survival mode
  • I am afraid food will not be available to me
  • When I eat, I often think about what it was like for me to eat as a child
  • Bulimia while it gave me a sense of control it also allowed me to eat more food and feel safe
  • I eat competitively when other people are involved
  • The eating behaviors forced on me as a child, have evolved to eating behaviors I force on myself as an adult
  • I don’t trust myself around food or my ability to have a healthy relationship with food
  • I live my life meal to meal and think about food more than anything else (except money)

So there you have it, my relationship with food in a very very small nutshell. As the weeks go by I’ll blog more about each of these behaviors as they make themselves known to me. For now, I’d like to know what your relationship with food looks like. Under control? Out of control? WTF? Counting calories? Eating Intuitively? Reading any good books about this shit?

Time for oatmeal.

 

 

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DDGBD #6 / Getting back to the basics.

26 09 2010

Goals to accomplish by December:
Finish trek tri in under 2 hours (done)
Dead lift 150 pounds (done)
Consistently run 10 minute mile (done)
Get into size 12 pants (done)
Make my bed everyday (hahahahahahahaha)

Proud moment:
I’m pretty sure that picture up there sums up my proud moment!

Need to work on the following:
I’m going back to the basics (more to follow down below) and counting calories again. That’s going to be my focus for a bit.

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So let’s talk about getting back to basics.

I’ve been on this LCJ for 9 months. I’ve learned a lot of things a long the way. I’ve learned that I can count calories and stay within the numbers alloted. I’ve learned that there is a difference between my brain being hungry and my body being hungry. I’ve learned how to set small goals that are achievable instead of focusing on the end goal which seemed so far away in the beginning. I’ve learned how to feel emotions and to stay in the moment for at least 85% of the time (which is damn good for me). I’ve learned how to push my plate away when I’m full and to say out loud “I’m eating mindlessly and I need to stop”. I’ve learned that I don’t have to count calories and I can eat intuitively when I take the necessary steps to keep myself prepared. I’ve learned what a serving size looks like (never big enough in my honest opinion) and most importantly…

I’ve learned to take control of my life.

I never really thought about what I would do once I reached my first goal weight of 170 pounds. In all honesty I never thought it would be here as fast as it seems to be approaching. I didn’t wake up one day in December of ’09 and think to myself “I’m gonna balls to the walls this LCJ and at the end of September I’m going to have lost close to 100 pounds”. In fact I think that one day in December ’09 went something a little more like “Well haven’t you just gotten yourself into a fine mess here. Look at yourself fat girl. This is it. Now or never. Do something. Anything. But please don’t let this be your life anymore.”

(Then I’m pretty sure I took myself to Jack in the Box.)

Here I am. So close to that first goal weight of 170 I can see it standing there waiting for me to cross the proverbial finish line and yet I’m still scared to get there. Scared because I don’t know what’s next. All I’ve known for the past 9 months is how to lose the weight that I’ve been carrying around since I was a little girl. All I’ve had in my mind for the past 9 months is that neon sign that says:

170

As I get closer to that number my anxiety about reaching this goal is going up exponentially. What’s going to happen once I reach that it? Will I sit back and think “okay that was awesome, now bring me cake” Will I secretly begin paying for a World of Warcraft account again because it’s okay to play when you weigh 170 pounds? Will I take myself on a one woman date through Kentucky Fried Chicken and attempt to get past third base as I double down a double down?

Probably not…

However, I am feeling myself getting angst about it and that in turn is keeping me from reaching that goal weight and moving on to bigger and better things. September has been my lowest weight loss since starting this journey. Before you jump up from your reading and scream “BUT TARA -5.2 POUNDS IS STILL A LOT”, I already know this and I’m not down playing the weight loss during this month. I’m just making a point here. I’m pretty sure I’m self sabotaging so that I don’t have to get to that goal weight. The odd thing is I’m not doing it the way most people would think of self – sabotaging. I’m not letting days go by without breaking a sweat or sneaking in a 2000 calorie meals in my car in some deserted parking lot and then going home in hopes my husband doesn’t smell the fries on my breath or notice the ketchup stain on my shirt.

In fact, it’s just the opposite. I don’t think I’m eating enough. I think I’m so scared to reach that goal weight of 170 that I’ve resorted to eating too little and that in turn is keeping me from losing any weight. I could be wrong. I could be stressed out from going back to work full time after being unemployed for the past four months and know that my body tends to gain weight during times of stress. Hell it could be because I’ve lost 85 pounds in the last 9 months and my body just needs a damn break.

But I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m not eating enough.

Which brings me to the point of all of this yammering. In the beginning I counted calories to make sure I didn’t eat too much. Now I’m going back to counting calories to make sure I am eating enough. I need to know that I’m not unconsciously trying to keep myself from reaching that goal of 170. Back to measuring and reading about serving sizes, logging my food and making sure that at the end of the day I’m eating the approximate 1500 – 2300 calories per day that my body needs to move towards that proverbial finish line. I need to stop worrying about whats suppose to happen next and focus on what’s happening today. I need to stay in the moment and know that it’s okay to move toward reaching that goal because whatever is supposed to happen next is going to be great and it will not involve cake, world of warcraft and doubling down myself on third base!!

So here’s to getting back to the basics and moving forward!