May 24, 2011

A Gain, Leaving Me at a Loss

On Saturday I ran the fastest I've ever ran in my life.

On Monday I weighed more than I've ever weighed in my life.  (Documented of course - I suppose fluctuations that high were possible and just not noted.)

Are these two connected?  Probably not.  Actually science says that extra weight should make me slower.  What gives?

This time last year I was 122 pounds and ran a 37 minute 5K.  The race time was concerning because instead of getting faster, after a year of running I was now 3 minutes slower.  I internalized it all - of course I was doing something wrong.  I was stupid, fat, and any other negative adjective that I could use to put myself down.

In reality I was ill. 

I know I talk about it a lot around here, but that's because it was a huge deal to me.  I've never really recovered. 

Thankfully I've gotten back to training and in the past year I've progressed considerably on my 5K time, completed my first triathlon, and ran my first full marathon (as well as setting a new half marathon PR). 

What hasn't recovered is my relationship with food.

My doctors never figured out what caused my iron to be incredibly low.  Because the infusions worked, and follow up visits showed my levels increasing (quite obviously I wasn't "leaking") we never really got to the bottom of what caused it.  After all, I was fixed.  Who cares why it happened?

My doctor suggested that heavy calorie restriction might have not allowed me to consume enough iron, causing the dip.  But I wasn't really restricting all that heavily was I?
Compared to some of you I wasn't.  1650 calories a day was my goal.  I was also exercising 7-10 times a week (and not eating back the calories). 

Maybe to perform at that level my body required more of me. 

Maybe it was just a fluke thing with no significant root cause.

Maybe it was just God's way to get my attention.

Whatever the cause, the result is the same - I'm terrified to start a new eating plan.  Without a doubt I choose me right now (chunky, getting faster, and healthy) than the me of last year (skinny, slow, and ill).  That should go without saying, but to be honest there were times in my life I would have given anything to be skinny.

Great right?  I've got a healthy mindset and all is right with the world.  Well not quite, because I know I don't eat as healthy as I ought.

Maybe I'm not suppose to be 122 pounds, but I know that 140 is too heavy for my frame as well.  I know that fast food two nights in a row isn't good for me.  I know that I'm far too thoughtless when it comes to putting together a meal plan.

How do I find a middle ground?  That place between counting every calorie and indulging in every treat?  How do I consider healthy options without running terrified straight into the arms of Ronald McDonald?
Yesterday Karena and I started the Body for Life weights plan.  (Yes, I have before pictures.  No, I'm not ready to share them.)  There is also a great eating plan that goes along with it.  Proper fuel for this kind of activity - 6 meals a day with plenty of protein, carbs, and several veggie servings along the way. 

Yet I can't force myself to try it.  I have a friend who's currently doing just the eating plan.  She's lost a significant amount of weight and swears by how easy it is.  Its inspiring really, how well she's done.  After borrowing her book and nodding in agreement all along the way, I still can't convince myself to start. 

I'm at a loss.


  1. It *is* a good eating plan, Brooke. For me as a vegetarian/near vegan, it doesn't work because I won't touch protein powder. But I've done it before prior to going veg and it does what it says - fills you up, fuels you, and keeps you from going nuts :) Still, if it isn't for you right now, don't force it on yourself. Do what works for you!

  2. it is really hard to find that balance of moderation...i feel like i constantly obsess over food and don't know how to stop. often times i think "if only i were skinny i would do ___ or wear ____ or feel ___." scary trap to be caught in!

  3. I definitely think you've got a great perspective ~ it's WAY worse to be skinny, slow & ill! I can understand why you'd be afraid to try an eating plan that could cause you to be sick again.

  4. Staying healthy is what is important. The fact that you are finding a nice balance is great - the running PR just makes it even better.

  5. (((hugs)))

    clearly i don't have it all figured out, but i'll join you in saying that i WANT to, and that i am committed to being healthy!

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  7. It's hard to find that "plan" that you can live your life on. I'm trying to find a healthy eating lifestyle, really, and sporadically it includes"cheating" with ice cream or fast food. But that's okay. I'm really active and, for the most part, I actually DO eat healthy. But, like yesterday, when I felt a craving...well, it'll be probably the only craving I give into this week, so I gave in and got that chickfila milkshake. =) It's just a process of finding a balance of eating healthy but maybe throwing in a few free days a month.

  8. I like Body For Life and p90x. I like combining the two. I am not very good at sticking with any one thing. :(


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