Two Miles

Every time I get back to running, starting is always the hardest part. I spent the day today with my boyfriend who lives in a city about an hour north of where I live. We talked yesterday about our plans for today and I mentioned sneaking in a run at some point. I had made a promise to myself that when we changed our clocks so it would be lighter later, I would start running outside again. Before I was actually able to pack my running gear though I had to find it. That may give you some indication of exactly how long it’s been since I got off my lazy arse. Two closets and many drawers later I found  my winter running  gear. That was actually the most progress I had made in my running goal as before I just thought about looking for my gear without ever doing it.

So with running shoes packed, I headed out. I originally planned to run in the morning. Then we decided to see a movie and there just wasn’t enough time to run, shower and get ready. After the movie we did some shopping and got back a little after 5:00. At that point I was pretty much out of excuses. We would start dinner closer to 7:00 so there was lots of time. I got dressed and went online to plan a route. I only wanted to do two miles and the bf was fairly certain that I could run a big block on the nearby streets and have a two mile route. He was right so I set out.

I guess it’s like that quote about a journey of a million miles starting with one step. Each tiny bit of preparation gets me closer to my ultimate goal. While these small things in isolation seem manageable, I quickly become overwhelmed by the totality of it. Tonight I ran two miles. By August, I want to run a ten mile race and set a new personal best. I would like to make it in 1:20 but think 1:24 is more manageable. Running two miles at around a 9 minute pace makes August seem very close indeed.

I have weekly goals that I set out for myself in all aspects of my life. Last week’s goals included things like find a new running plan, hang mirror in bedroom, eat a fruit or veggie with each meal, etc. I didn’t meet all of them but this week’s goals will certainly include following the running schedule. I also want to look back over Geneen Roth’s eating guidelines. Here is a link if you want to check them out: Eating Guidelines

I think Geneen offers a balanced approach to thinking about food and it resonates with me. It’s certainly not easy but I think a much more sustainable way of eating. Speaking of eating, I am sitting on the couch writing this feeling completely satiated. The lovely and talented bf made me dinner which included roasted broccoli with olive oil, salt, pepper and a touch of lemon, with shrimp scampi. I cannot cook at all so dating someone with kitchen prowess is simply wonderful. As soon as I finish this entry I am planning to make my way to the freezer where I know he has thin mints. In that case, I better just end this now.

Jennifer & Jessica

I have been contemplating rejoining Weight Watchers recently. I chalk this up to several things including a very motivating ad campaign with a heavy presence on Hulu (my primary source of media exposure due to not having cable television), feeling chubby and slug-like at the end of winter, and being totally overwhelmed  by the prospect of changing my diet in a meaningful way.

Here though are the reasons why this would be a terrible decision:
Last time I was a member I became hyper obsessed with food and didn’t enjoy eating anymore
For me, it’s not a sustainable way to eat. Counting calories or points or whatever feeds into my OCD tendencies and makes me a crazy person
I like to think of myself as a follower and believer of Geneen Roth ‘s way of thinking and she would tell me it is a bad idea

Why then is it so daunting a task to make out a meal plan for the week, put together a shopping list, and go to the store to buy what I need?

I started reading Tosca Reno’s book on clean eating and liked a lot of what she had to say. I also enjoy Michael Pollan. Those ladies who wrote the Skinny Bitch series are a little too mean. I need moderation. Eating at either extreme leaves me either fat and sluggish or skinny and angry.

I feel like I’ve successfully talked myself in a circle. I have a sense that I need more structure in my eating but I can’t seem to identify one that adequately meets my needs.

I understand that I probably would benefit from a diet higher in proteins and complex carbohydrates and a bit less sugar. Okay maybe a lot less sugar. I don’t like meat though and after months of trying to like chicken I think I will go back to being a pescatarian (no meat but yes to fish, eggs, etc.) So incorporate more non-meaty proteins.

I guess the real issue is why do I eat what I eat. The odd part is that it’s not necessarily because I like it or even because I’m hungry.

Here are some of the top reasons I have identified as to why I eat:

Habit
I always order a coke/Pepsi when I go out to eat – it doesn’t even taste that good and I do it mostly for the caffeine
I eat at the times when people are “supposed” to eat
I eat the same things I’ve eaten before even when they upset my stomach or don’t taste very good

Boredom
Well…it gives me something to do…

Exhaustion
Food is a quick pick-me-up especially if it contains lots of sugar

Stress/Anxiety/Procrastination
I find these to be very interrelated. If I am stressed  or anxious about something then I want to avoid it and if I’m eating instead then it buys me some time. The thing is though the thought of something stressful is normally much worse than the thing itself. I create a lot of false emergencies perhaps partly to excuse the purported “stress eating.” Avoidance and procrastination are recurring themes even though I know rationally I am capable of confronting and dealing with almost any problem. Emotionally I have far less confidence in myself.

Okay so if these are the reasons I eat when I am not hungry and/or am eating things I don’t like, then to address these issues is to find a more permanent solution to my food dilemmas.

That is my real problem with programs like Weight Watchers. If there are reasons other than not knowing how to make good food choices that have lead you to being overweight, then you will never  be successful until you figure out the deeper issues and a healthful outlet. When I attended meetings before I remember one short session on such issues. The leaders aren’t trained mental health professionals though and other than losing weight themselves, possess no skills or credentials to help people sort that through.

So here I go. Now that I’ve had some time to wax poetic on the issue, the real work begins. I’m going to start with exhaustion – stop blogging and go to bed at a decent time. I’ll keep you posted on working through some of the other issues.