To date, I am positive this summer was the most unhealthiest I have been since college. I cringe admitting the truth of my sloth like eating and lack of consistent physical activity. As when all weight starts climbing up, we had a major life change in our family. My husband tells me this summer he is going to pursue becoming a principal, which means his glorious summers home with us will be ending all to soon. As a family, we decide to take an adventure every other week that summer. We ate our way through small beach towns in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and North Carolina. I'm not going to lie it was simply amazing eating anything that looked delicious and local to the area. My wine glass was full must of the nights, another item that creeps up the lbs. There was some sort of nutritional balance and activity, but not my normal eating healthy 95% of the time. I found myself on the last day of July rushed to medical care with a ridiculous fever and kidney infection. My primary care provider's statement still haunts me, "you ran your body and your immunity down, you just need to eat better and take care of yourself." Me! The Dietitian! My respected and intelligent doctor is telling me to eat better. It was like a punch to my stomach. I was...devastated. How can I be a role model if I made myself sick!
That night I vowed to come of off this vacation lifestyle and poor eating habits. I thought of my mom and her recent heart episode this past year. Not only did I want to motivate myself to be healthier but I wanted to motivate her. I Googled 10 K races and where my mom lives in Rehobeth Beach. The Rehobeth Beach Half and Full Marathon December 6th, 2014 glared back from my search. That's it! I can run the half marathon 13.1 miles, what a great exercise goal! I told no one in my family, only one patient who himself set a similar large goal.
Using the Nike Running app, I set my goal for 13.1 miles for December 6th. Every week that clever little app had me on a running plan. Each week were a few small runs and a long run on the weekend. My first 3 mile long run was horrible. I thought I was going to die. Then something happened and my inner warrior came out. I ran the 3 miles and then kept going. I went to 6 that day. The next days I ran about 3-5 miles, up hills, on a treadmill, and through the town of West Chester. I got the running bug. The cars with stickers such as Runner Girl, 13.1, and 26.2 I now officially got it.
My eating was balanced and I enjoyed the extra 3 whole grain or fruit servings the day before my long runs. My weight and own body image was comfortable. Running allowed me to eat more and feel good. By October I was at 18 miles on my weekend long runs and I upgraded to the full marathon. My mom even started walking more! Then life happened. My sweet six year old became severely ill the week before Halloween. Nights became praying sessions with my husband that our sweet girl would be okay. Routine and exercise went out the window. Meal planning for the week was a distant memory. I skipped long runs to monitor breathing treatments and slept in the morning recovering from our tough nights.
By mid November, I contacted the race organizer, (Mary Beth you are the most amazing race director!), and changed my bib to the half marathon. I had no doubt I can run 13.1 miles at that point. It was disappointing not to reach a goal I set, but I was relieved and confident about running in December. When I got on the scale the weeks before the race, I was shocked my weight and body fat sky rocketed. Apparently stress eating got involved during this time. For those of you who aren't runners, gaining 10 pounds a week before the race, will completely kill your race time. AND IT DID, BY ALOT.
I'm still running and ran almost every day on vacation. My weight is not back to where it should be, but it is just a number. The important factor is I feel good and am back to healthy meal planning. I froze a bunch of meals in case "life happens" and I can have a few days out of the kitchen.
As with most people, the arrival of a new year has cemented my health goals and I am ready to bring out my inner warrior gain. My question to you is, will your inner warrior come out? Need help? Meet me for a run:)
The Dieting Dietitian