Monday, January 28, 2013

a runner's body

Have you ever seen someone running along the street or at a nearby treadmill and thought to yourself "Some day I will have a runner's body like that!"?

I know that I have.

I think that most people have an idea of what a runner's body should look like, and many of us strive for that ideal when we begin to run or to think about running.

I know that I had those thoughts quite often in the past.  They motivated me to want to run.  I was more about getting that long, lean, look than I was about being a runner.

But I had an epiphany recently, while I was running.

Here's what I realized:  Right now, at this very moment, I HAVE A RUNNER'S BODY.

You wanna know how I know that?  Because I am a runner.

There is no reason to strive for some "ideal" that is likely unrealistic for most people, especially for those of us who cannot devote every day to running and who are genetically destined to be pears or apples.  Instead, we need to all focus on getting healthy, embracing ourselves as we are, and embracing our bodies as they are (and remember all the while that the size of our bodies does not dictate beauty, either outward OR inner beauty).

I'm not there yet, but I'm working hard towards it!  Today I ran 1.25 mile straight, 2.5 miles total.  By the end of March, I will be able to run 3.1 miles straight (a 5K).  By October 6, 13.1 miles hopefully...  So there is no doubt in my mind that I am now a runner.

And if you run, you are a runner, and you have a runner's body.  So enjoy it!!!

a runner's body

Monday, January 21, 2013

Distance Training vs. Calorie Burning

Since Januray 7th, I have been a runner.

Yes, a RUNNER.  One who runs. 

I finally am one of the chosen few.  One of the elite.  One of the special and unique.

Only joking.  Almost anyone can run!  If one can walk, and one has the desire to do that same basic movement only faster, than one can probably run. 

I've tried in the past to be a runner.  It was always very hard to do, and the rewards were so few that I quit every darn time.

I found it more rewarding to get on my stationary bike, or do the elliptical, or just walk uphill on a treadmill than running.

So because I was missing out on the rewards of running, I quit.

What reward was I looking for back then?


The fact remained that I could burn way more calories on my bike or on an elliptical than I did when I went running, particularly because I couldn't run for very long or very fast.  It seemed pointless to do running intervals when I would burn so few calories doing it.

Why am I runner now?  Why do I now feel confident that I won't quit, and that I will be a half-marathon runner by the end of 2013 (October 6th to be exact)?

Because I've changed my mindset.  My new reward is the half marathon.  So I am now training to run 13.1 miles.

Every new distance reached is a reward.  Every time that I run another mile, I'm happy.  When I'm on the treadmill, now I'm looking at the distance first, the time second, and the calories third (if at all).

So far, this is how my training has gone:

Every week, I must have three running days.  They don't have to be in a row, and there is no time rule except a minimum of 30 minutes.  I try to cross train at least two other days a week, but I'm not strict about that either.

Week 1:  Half mile interval.  I ran half a mile then walked half a mile
Week 2:  3/4 mile intervals.  I ran 3/4 a mile, then walk 1/4 mile, and continued the patter
Week 3: (began today!) I ran 1 mile, then walked 1/4 mile, and so forth.

I've improved my 5K time dramatically in just two weeks.  I'm so excited!!!  It felt SO GOOD to run an entire mile today.  And then I did it again, after walking 1/4 mile.  I'm stoked.

I am LOVING my running workouts.  I look forward to them.  They relieve stress, energize me, and make me feel strong, fit, and beautiful.

I have heard these kind of things be said about running in the past, and I never understood why I couldn't get there.

Now I know.  I had to change my focus from CALORIES burned to DISTANCE training.  Now I get it.  Now...  I'm a runner.  And it feels great.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Closet eating...

I didn't realize what a closet eater I was until this week.

For a long time now, I've been on my own in the evenings through the week.  Stacey works 3pm to midnight, M-F.  So I have had the house to myself.

That is when the bulk of my overeating and ALL of my binge-eating happened.  When I got emotional and was alone.  There was a Kroger right down the street, and all it took was twenty minutes to drive there, get a box of snack cakes, a bag of chips, and a giant tub of dip, and get home.

Then, there I would be:  alone with a bunch of junk food.  What else was there to do but eat it all in one sitting while watching TV? 

I don't know where these donuts came from!
But I guess I better eat them ALL before someone sees...

This would happen at least once a week, and the other days would also have overeating, but not necessarily a trip to the store for the specific purpose of binge-eating.

This is a classic example of closet eating. 

I am a closet eater. 

Sometimes when I'm in uncomfortable situations, or even sometimes when I'm not, I will just randomly wish that I could be home alone so that I could EAT JUNK in private.

a closet - not mine (too sparse)

This closet emotional binge eating is the main reason that I gained so much weight so quickly after Mom died and the number one reason that I haven't lost it yet.

On January 5th, I moved to Nashville for an internship.  I now have roommates, one of whom is also an intern and is becoming a good friend to me.  I am almost NEVER home alone.  I have had to say goodbye to my closet eating.

And it's been a wonderful thing for me.

Last night, when I suddenly was VERY emotional, and all I wanted to do was either binge-eat or even smoke a cigarette (I quit smoking in '09), because my roommate was going to the gym, instead I went and worked out beside her.  And I felt GREAT about myself and knocked out another half-marathon training session.

Tomorrow there will be a test for me.  She has to go to work, but I don't.  I will have the house to myself for several hours.  But I'm going to make a healthy game plan tonight, and stick with it tomorrow.  :-)

I just wanted to share this experience with you guys, because it seemed like an important realization: I'm a closet eater. 

Now that I know, I can start to plan my alone time better.  Apparently being alone in the evenings is a HUGE trigger for my binge eating. 

I hope that all of you are having great days!  I will come back later and add some pretty pictures to this; right now I'm on a computer at work...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

BRAG: My talented brother

My brother Joel is the most amazingly talented singer/songwriter/lyricist/pianist out there.  Don't believe me?  Live in the NYC area?  Please consider checking out his new show.

It's going to be freaking amazing.  This show is called "In Others' Words" because instead of using his own lyrics (which he is known for), Joel has decided to set others' poetry to his music.  I've heard the songs (and actually recorded one for him!) and believe me, they are beautiful.  I wish that I lived in NYC now, or at least that I could make it up there for this event.

Anyway, I thought that I would give him a well-deserved shout-out on my blog, because he is the best brother in the world.  

I don't even know how many tickets are left, but if you will be in or near NYC on January 14, please consider going!  You won't regret it.  Here's a link for more information and/or to buy tickets:

Joel B. New's "In Others' Words" at Ars Nova on January 14 - $15.00

Monday, January 7, 2013

Working, Healthy Eating, and 1/2 Marathon Training Day #1

Today was day one of my internship!  In case you guys are curious about it, here's the internship that I'm doing:

TN State internship site!!!
It should be a great opportunity for my future, since my goal is to be an attorney.  These are the people who could write me excellent recommendation letters for Columbia Law!!!  So I'm excited about it, despite that the job itself seems routine and boring to me so far (but that's because I have TONS of office experience, which is a good thing.)

Today was also day one of going back to a more healthy diet.  I've decided against going full force Eat To Live even for 5 days a week.  Instead, I'm starting off relatively slow.

Instead of "NO PROCESSED FOODS!!!" and adhering to strict portion rules regarding whole grains, I'm just trying to eat a healthy and vegan diet through the week, with minimal processed foods.  And the processed foods that I do choose have to be natural, organic, and/or at least kind of healthy.

Also I'm not counting calories right now, because I'm eating healthy foods, cooking, and listening to my hunger signals (therefore I'm not measuring so even if I plugged it into MFP, I would be off).

Here's what I ate today:

Breakfast- oats (old-fashioned) cooked with almond milk with sliced banana
Lunch- out to lunch with co-workers, vegetable sushi roll and tofu sushi
Snack- organic red delicious apple and coconut yogurt
Dinner- a beautifully thrown together bowl meal: brown rice, garbanzo beans, tomato, orange bell pepper, asparagus, steamed greens, and red onion, with EVOO and red wine vinegar
Snack- a whole wheat sandwich round with natural peanut butter

today's dinner (and probably tomorrow's too)

Like I said, no measurements and there was always food leftover (except for the snacks, those were eaten completely) so I cannot accurately count calories.  But I think that I ate a perfectly healthy amount of perfectly healthy food today.

The third thing that began today:  my half-marathon training!!!  It went very well!  I have written a training schedule for myself, which includes three weekly runs (run/walks in the beginning) and 2 to 3 cross training days.

Today was the first day of week 1, which is half mile run/walk intervals.  I absolutely LOVED focusing on the mileage instead of the time or the calories.  It was liberating.

So all in all, those three goals are going splendidly.  I'm very proud of myself after just one day of following through.  And I feel amazing.  (Though a bit stiff from the workout, not gonna lie!)