Posts from the ‘Dieting’ Category

We now rejoin this blog, already in progress…

75 Degrees and endless Sun in sight.  I am loving this weather.

Weather is a weird subject these days. Things seem very volatile with earthquakes and tornadoes causing massive amounts of destruction and death in seemingly safe environments. Snow piled high enough in the Tri-State area to cause concern this winter, and the two weeks of endless rain we recently had were just plain awful. I am hoping we’re past the worst of the transitional weather and can welcome in a period of calm weather patterns for some time.

WTF? Whose blog was that?!?!

So, I just moved into a lovely new apartment in Kingston, NY. I threw out and gave away all my old junk, and am easily falling more and more in love with my new apartment every day. That’s my measure of knowing that I am on a good path, if every minute that I breathe I am happier in a situation. Last night was the first night that I decided not to be unpacking or cleaning or socializing and simply sat down on the couch and ate pizza and watched TV. It was a nice change of pace, to be comfortable doing nothing.

Of course, I did wake up at an ungodly hour to go for a morning 5 mile run, so…I guess it’s a good balance.

It’s probably a good time to put this blog back on track, and go back to talking about un-running. This summer’s running season will be spent training for my Half Marathon in September.  The week of June 27th starts the 12 week training program by my favorite anal retentive running trainer, Hal Higdon.  For now, I am maintaining 15-25 (depends on my schedule) mile weeks, as I have done through the winter, and have added in short biking sessions (3-7 miles), which seems to be helping my knees. I am also taking swimming lessons for cross training (read: Next year’s blogs will be about Triathlon training). But for now, the biking and swimming are just for fun and for weight loss. Oh, right. I will be training again, which means paying attention to optimum weights (which I NEVER achieve, but I am over it) etc.

I do, however, get to eat more carbs ; ) It’s a trade off.

She will be mine...

I’ve decided that my goal for the half will be three-fold. 1) Not to die. 2) To try desperately to have fun. 3) 2 hours, 50 mins. I used Runner’s World’s training calculators to pick a speed that I felt was both challenging and attainable. This will mark the first time that I run a race with a time goal in mind. We’ll see how it goes before I determine if it will be my last!

On a side note, Molly  is ending her long seasons of training and hitting the pavement for her first HIM (Half-Iron Man) on Sunday. This girl has untiring amounts of dedication and drive, though I am not sure that the word untiring should be used at all  when speaking of a Half IM. I get tired just thinking about it. I’m proud of you, Lady! And anxiously await pics of your smile as you cross the finish line ; )

A Runner with Runner’s Knee.

Next Saturday I am running a 5K race in NYC.

With a knee injury.

I hope.

Icing kneeI don’t hope that I have a knee injury, unfortunately, I took care of that quotient this week. I am hoping that I will be able to run it.  I’ll know later today, when I hit the pavement for the first time since my painful experience with Runner’s Knee.

As a person who lives in fear of knee or foot injuries, I was very freaked out when I finished my run last Tuesday and had a small knee ache which didn’t subside by the time I hopped out of my shower and into my car. A few hours later, after sharing dinner with friends, I stood up from the table and realized my knee ache had turned into a full-on painful experience.  Driving home was a bit of agony, and walking up my stairs was almost impossible. I went to bed hoping to wake up free of pain, and didn’t.  So I started an Advil and icing regimen, and began to do research online.  It didn’t take much effort at all to realize it was Runner’s Knee.

Runner’s World had a great article on Runner’s Knee, as did many other sources, and I feel adequately prepared to “run through” the issue, as long as today’s run goes as planned (I’m keeping it really small, just 3 miles, which is about 40% of my typical weekend runs these days).


Things I did wrong which lead me to this point:

Increased my mileage too far and too fast:  10% a week is apparently a good increase, for someone with Runner’s Knee issues. I went from 5 mile runs to 7 mile runs very abruptly a few weeks ago. Great for my self-esteem, apparently not-so-great for my new(ish) runner’s knees.

Speed work. I’ve always hated speed-work.  In this case, I was running as fast as I could for a short period of time, before returning to a slower speed for a bit until I recovered.  I am terrible at recovery, and therefore hate doing speed-work.  Because 5K is such a short distance, I wanted to do some speed-work before my race.  It wouldn’t have been so bad, ‘cept I also did,

Hills. The bane of my running existence.  I need to start running them more regularly. Unfortunately, my neighborhood is fairly hilly, so because I didn’t want to drive anywhere that day for a run, I did my speed-work on Hills. I get the Brainiac of the year award.

To be honest, none of the above were that bad. It was just too much, to fast of all three that compounded into, well, THIS.

The biggest mistake that I have done overall is that I have only been running, and have not widened my exercise repertoire to include any other activity.  One of the most likely causes of my issues is an extreme imbalance of my Quadriceps muscles to my Hamstring Muscles.

Trek Madone Women's Bicycle

NOT in my price range : (

Armed withthis information (from numerous sources on the internet) I loaded up on anti-inflammatory pills, iced the knee for a few days and took it a little bit easy until the pain was mostly gone.  Since then, I began a Quadracepts muscle routine, and have spent time at the gym using (brace yourself) a standing exercise bike. I am now on the market for a fairly inexpensive road bike, but will continue using the one at the gym until I manage to find a decent one in my price range.This was a seriously important lesson for me.

I was really devastated for a few moments when I felt as though there was a possibility that I would no longer be able to run to the extent that I have been.  Thoughts of weight gain, and anxiety flooded into my head and I was panicked that I wasn’t going to be able to use running to control either of these any longer.  I clearly need to expand my exercise horizons as it is no secret that running is one of the harder ones on your body—made worse by the fact that I am both a new runner and a woman.  There are more muscles in my body than running works, and I need to ensure that I am exercising all of them.

Now, I just have to figure out something to do with my arms. Would knitting count?

I feel very appropriate for Fat Tuesday.

Months of celebrations, holidays and cold weather have piled on enough pounds to make me notice that it’s time to buckle down for the spring running season.  The problem with having such a rich social life (which I wouldn’t trade for the world) is that there is always something to celebrate and it’s always someone’s birthday.  And with fabulous cakes and friendships being so rich, it’s now time to…


Yup. I said it. And I hate it.  But, 8lbs.  Go.

After I eat the last piece of my friend Thea’s fabulous Guinness cake with Bailey’s frosting. Maybe if we are lucky, she’ll post the recipe.  And maybe you know someone whose birthday is coming up.

Which started me thinking about addicting foods. I realized I can blame these 5 lbs I have gained over the winter on 5 key items:

1)      Stacy’s Pita Chips.  I do not understand.  Do these things have crack in them?  Do they have magical flour that makes you never feel full?  I have never stopped eating these chips because I felt satiated.  I only stop when either the bag is empty (and I don’t have the car keys to go get more), or I start to feel guilt pangs about the level of indulgence that I am currently partaking in. Or, most likely, someone else comes along and finishes it for me, leaving me crying on my couch.  Seriously.  Picture a three year old who has just dropped her lollipop on the carpet filled with cat-hair, and her mom says the candy store no longer carries sugary treats. The lip quivers.  The tears swell her eyes. She’s trying to be strong but…there’s no more candy?!?!?  Yup, that’s what you do to me when you eat my chips.  And yes, much like the little girl who would pick up the hair covered lollipop and contemplate how bad cat-hair could taste, I might punch you in the stomach to see if full chips would come out.  Okay, I won’t, but I will cry.

2)      Lindt chocolate. Most recently I have discovered the caramel filled bars. Bad news.  Just bad. Stupidly delicious and available most anywhere.  Dear Congress, fuck marijuana laws.  Do something about the fact that I can get these ANYWHERE!!!

3)      Cake.  More specifically any cake the man-friend’s sister makes. Don’t judge, if you’d eaten even a single piece, you wouldn’t be able to stop either.

4)      Chicken wings. BBQ, Hot, Mild, Honey BBQ, it’s all the same and it’s all DELICIOUS. I love any food where it is perfectly acceptable to clean your hands after with your own saliva.

5)      Glenlivet. Maybe I’ll even widen that up a tiny bit and just say alcohol. It’s been a long winter.

So, I think if I eliminate the above 5 things for the next two months, I can reach my 8lbs goal.

And yes, my lip quivered a little bit just then.

What are your addictions?

This is the worst time of year for a chocoholic.  If you are a true chocoholic, you know exactly what I am talking about. Yes, the sun stays out to play longer. The birds chirp both a little bit prettier and a lot more abundantly than they have all winter.  You start to see neighbors that have been hibernating all winter cleaning up their yard. The snow melts away leaving you to be able to gaze upon your lawn, even though it is now mud.  But most important to this time of year is the cheerful voice of….

Girl Scouts.

Crack, for those not actually addicted to crack.

They wear cute uniforms.  They put their hair in pigtails. They are in plaid skirts for Christ-sakes.  If we were men, and they were much, much, much older (Ryan) we’d want to take them to the bedroom.  Instead I just want to crawl into bed with a sleeve of what they want to offer me. Or sell to me. And I CAN’T stop eating them.

Sigh, This is only the first box. There is a whole season to get through. Someone needs to teach me moderation-quick.  Or tie my hands behind my back. No, that won’t work.  I’ll use my hands to open the sleeve, then drop the cookies on the floor and eat them like I am bobbing for apples.  I need them crushed, then drowned.  And then put down the garbage disposal.

Or I guess I could just not buy them.

But that would just be ridiculous.

Could I really be obsessing over obsessing?

I have a bit of an obsessive personality.

I like lists.  Tracking.  Knowing. Planning.

I really hate the word dieting.  I think it’s just a psychological side effect of growing up as an overweight teenager. It was an embarrassing buzzword-like, “Something is wrong with you, so you need to fix it.  The solution is Dieting.

As an adult, I enjoy lifestyle choices, which can change at times.  Allow me to explain.

I baseline at a healthy lifestyle.  I run, enjoy healthy food, and participate in all things that emotionally satisfy me.  I eat chocolate cake or steak when doing so makes me happy.  I go to concerts. I read books. I study things I find interesting. I write useless blog entries. I go out to dinners with fun folks.

There are times (such as over the holidays) where I enable myself to indulge in a somewhat unhealthier lifestyle, where I relax on the “harder” things, such as running and food choices and increase the “easier” things, like comfort foods and TV watching.  I don’t think that any of these things are bad for me as long as I am getting a physical or emotional satisfaction out of them.  To me, gaining weight causes dissatisfaction (mostly because it makes my running harder). For that reason it’s an unhealthy choice for me, unless I am doing it knowingly such as the holidays, where I choose to live that way.

I feel that if I referred to my lifestyle as dieting, it would give it a temporary or even negative feel. Or it implies that if I eat a hamburger, I have failed, since the very definition of dieting is To eat and drink according to a regulated system, especially so as to lose weight or control a medical condition[1]. Obviously, a hamburger doesn’t contribute to weight loss, but to me, not eating a hamburger when I really want one would be dissatisfying emotionally, which goes against my lifestyle.

Yes, I understand that this is all semantics. But it still means a lot to me.

In a seemingly innocent conversation over the weekend, I showed the manfriend my  new guilty little secret.  Livestrong.  Most specifically, the MyPlate section on the site.

I now LOVE this website.  I found it about 2 months ago. I don’t think that it is weird that I track every single bite of food that I eat.  I don’t think it’s weird that I log all of my exercise.  I would think it was a bit too obsessive for me if I cried every time I went over in calories (which I do almost every day), or if I didn’t eat a beautiful, wonderful juicy bit of steak that was presented to me because I only had 75 calories left today before I was at 803 calories, which is my personal Calorie intake setting.  I will eat some of that steak.  I will, however, then adjust my next days calories, by planning ahead and buying something that is super-low cal but YUMMY to me, so that I can make up for the previous days steak.  I look at my week totals, vs. my day totals, and just do my best to keep it in the range.  And if I don’t stay in the range, I don’t.  Those were choices I made. I don’t feel it’s obsessive in the least.  Just like the kleptomaniac doesn’t think that walking out on a check is a poor choice.

Sigh. Below is when I learned I was dieting.

Scene: In a Nissan Pathfinder, on our way home from dinner, the same day I showed him the website.

Me: That Mexican Chop Salad from Armadillo was DELICIOUS.

Him: Yes, it is very good.

Me: It really just was what I wanted to eat. Even though I am not dieting, it was what  appealed to me most on the menu .

Manfriend: Heather, you are logging your food. You are dieting.

I had absolutely no response to him, because…he was kinda right, I guess. My obsessive personality has taken my healthy lifestyle to a bit of a more extreme level. What I can’t decide, however, is if it’s an unhealthy extreme.  Yes, I pay a lot of attention to what I eat. But, I won’t turn down a dinner invitation, or a few bites of cake if I want them.  I’m starting to wonder if I need to find a way to let go of my personal stigma of “dieting”.