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.

 

 





A binge, and a good night’s sleep…

22 08 2010

I don’t know how to explain my eating yesterday.

The only thing I can say about it is I started eating at 9am and I didn’t stop eating until sometime after 6pm. I feel like it was some sort of day dream. It went something like this: I got up yesterday morning and had my usual pre-run/workout breakfast (banana and almond butter). After my run I had a banana, a few strawberries and two granola bars. Once home I kept going to the fridge (at least every 5 minutes) and popping handfuls of grapes, blueberries and cheese. Went to my MIL’s house and from there continued to consume more cheese, bbq chicken, ribs, coleslaw and pickled veggies and about a pound of blackberries picked from her yard. Lots of food brought home and I continued to pick at chicken and grapes until I finally forced myself into bed at the late hour of 7:30p.

Looking over the food items it doesn’t seem that bad. Yes, lots of fruit was consumed. Yes I ran 4+ miles yesterday before the chowfest happened but for me this was a lot of food. Enough food that I actually weighed myself and it said 191 (that’s 6 pounds of food in my stomach). I couldn’t stop eating. I am grateful that my food choices were some what healthy (minus the bbq sauce of course) but only because I don’t keep “bad” food in my house any longer. I kept asking myself if I was hungry and the answer coming back was always yes but come on after 3 large pieces of chicken and a crap ton of coleslaw you can’t be hungry enough to eat ribs too.

It was all mindless eating.

Maybe I pushed myself too hard this last week. I worked out with Godfather three times. I worked out with Supergirl Megan once. I biked a total of 40 miles and ran a total of 10+ miles including some really hard hill work. I woke up yesterday sore, tired and run down…so I ate.

I ate until my stomach was bloated. I ate until I was so full I thought I was going to throw up and then I continued to eat until finally my brain shut down and all I could do was go to bed. I slept almost 10 hours and as I write this feel like I could go back to bed for a few more hours.

The damage doesn’t seem so bad now that I’m up and moving around. I’m actually trying to convince myself that in the end hardly any food was consumed (I mean compared to what I was eating just a short 8 months ago) but truth be told: it was a binge. I won’t spend too much time obsessing over it. I won’t go out and hit the gym hard today in hopes of rectifying whatever weight was gained. In fact, I’m taking a much needed day off and the only sweat that will be coming off my face is from working on the front yard because it has been neglected long enough. I may go for a walk on the water front just to clear my head a bit. I’ll choose my food wisely today and may even measure everything just to feel a little more in control.

I’m going to close this week not thinking about all the food I put in my mouth but rather all the sweat that fell off my body. I won’t think about the mindless eating but rather all the mindful moving I did. I won’t think about the “bad” choices because there were none. There were only choices and I am in control of them all.