Eating Like a Super Athlete
"What the heck have I been eating the last few weeks!" I said to my husband as I opened and closed the refrigerator again with a sigh. I'm back to counting calories and it seems all I want to do is EAT! My husband laughed and responded with, "You've been eating everything!"
It's true. The last few weeks have been kind of an open fridge fiesta. (However, even though I was living it up, I still was keeping some things in some moderation.)
Today I was thinking about how much my routines and quiet life help me keep on track. As soon as my friend came to visit, everything started slipping away. My friend is a healthy modest eating person so nothing in her behaviors opened the door for eating. It was just my own inability to maintain my resolve and be present in the socializing of the moment. It was gloriously freeing to eat whatever I wanted at night when we went out.
It makes me think of college students going off to the dorms and realizing they can buy whatever they want and eat whenever they want and nobody cares or high school kids getting their first pay check and blowing it all on clothing even though they want to save for a car or of folks being released from detention centers or half way programs and are surrounded by their old friends and hang outs and environments. Change - real change - is hard because it takes so much diligence, and often, fortitude.
It's so much easier to do well in a controlled environment. It's much harder out on one's own. Food is my own sort of addiction. I don't know how people manage with big addictions like alcohol. I mean, I know I do - day by day programs - lots of support - lots of new mantras - lots of feedback from their supports - lots of focus and hard work. My stuff is pidly in comparison, but it does give me a chance to appreciate a snippet of how hard it is for so many grappling with much bigger things.
So today, while I ran my eight mile community race, I tried to ignore the headwind and ignore my desire to start walking after only two miles, and instead, appreciate the beautiful gray rainy day and the bright rich greens of the plants and the thoughts that are best thought out when out running - such as how the heck do I keep focused.
When my life changed this last month, I didn't just lose focus - I lost the desire to care. The immediate stressors (which were all fun stressors since they were guests) took over and became more important. They were the burning woods that put other priorities on hold while I tended to them. But my burning woods weren't even that big a deal! What will happen next year when I've got more on my plate!! I need to get my act together and do more deep awareness and growth so I can keep my energy and focus AND still have other stressors interfering.
So, I ran eight miles. It felt okay. I averaged a 12 minute 30 second mile which I think is pretty good. The race began and all the other runners took off quickly. I was last. I wanted to stop a couple miles in, but I reminded myself that my strength is my ability to just keep going no matter how slow. I was reminded of a comment that I was like the little engine that could. I thought to myself that the others would burn out at the two mile hill and I, trudging diligently along, would pass them by. I did not. They are obviously all "engines that could" as well, except that they are all much faster!
I wrote great blog posts in my head. I enjoyed the light rain. I forgot everything that I wrote in my head. I had my fastest mile during my last mile (under 11 minutes) and I finished with a longer stride.
However, my knee is sore. My ankles are sore. I was incredibly tired. My legs were done running around mile 7 though they were still quite capable of running, they just wanted to cop out. Next week's half marathon is a whole different race. Before, the difference between 8 miles and 13 miles didn't seem that apparent, but now after seeing how tired I was today, I know that next week will be a lot harder. I'm hoping my aches and pains don't prevent me from trying it out.
After the race we ate breadsticks which were wonderful. We ate a pesto pasta dinner which was wonderful. I thought I ate moderately. I burned 800 calories according to the websites that provide data on calories and exercises. Yet, STILL, I went over my daily calorie allotment including the extra 800 I gained from my exercising! I don't think it's bad or terrible, but it reminds me that it takes a lot of diligence to maintain the calories allocated for each day.
I also weighed myself to see if I'd done any terrible damage in the last few weeks. Neh. I'm certainly not less, but I'm not terribly more. I'm about 8 pounds from the top edge of a healthy BMI.
To tomorrow and all the foods I shall not eat and to a tired body that will hopefully get a good night's rest!