Today’s Happy Note: Had a wonderful little “me” day. I did what I wanted — lifted weights, tried some new recipes, had an amazing, teary, breakthrough therapy sesh, baked, napped, and read. I took care of me in a way that I haven’t done in a while.
Marathon Training: I made it through 8 hilly miles yesterday. My legs felt very tight for some reason, and no amount of stretching breaks seemed to help. Meh. At least it got done. The general arc of my training plan is the same from week to week:
Sunday: long run
Monday: rest (weights/cross train/yoga)
Tuesday: speed work
Wednesday: short, easy run with 100 meter strides (3-5 miles)
Thursday: medium long run with hills
Friday: rest (weights/cross train/yoga)
Saturday: short, easy run (4-6 miles)
Pretty straightforward, no? It has been working for me quite well, minus the nagging pain in the back left hip. I have been making sure to rest and stretch. I suppose I could ice as well (the guys at one of the delis near me have been giving me small bags of ice that fit in my freezer for a dollar!!!!!). In the next one or two weeks, I plan on adding a sixth day of running in, probably on Fridays, just 3-6 easy miles. I will hit 41 miles this week, and would like to inch up to 50-55 over the next month, until mid-October when I “peak”, then taper. I have done a great job of increasing mileage slowly — I started around 25. I just think it is going to be very hard to get to 50-55 miles per week on 5 days of running. As long as the hip isn’t bothering me too much, I think I will take it up to six.
Thoughts? Anyone trained on six days a week before? What has been your peak mileage, if you’re a runner?
I know I have hit 55 before, maybe even 58-60. I am definitely capable of it. I went ahead and took the rest day today. I lifted weights for an hour or so, which felt great.
I came home and had my first-ever blended hot cereal creation a la Katie!
Okay, so I freely admit that it does not look like the most appetizing thing you have ever seen. But holy amazing. This was easily the best way I have ever eaten my breakfast grains! I made a big batch of quinoa last night. This morning I used about 1.5 servings — I simply dumped it in the blender, added about another 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup water, a generous sprinkling of cinnamon, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder. Then I blended and tossed in a sprinkle of xantham gum. When it was thoroughly blended, I poured it into a bowl and heated, then topped with sunbutter.
I thought I loved grains before. I think I might be in love with them now. This just took it to the next level. Hello creaminess, volume, and gloriousness. You must try this, if you are a breakfast grain eater (and who isn’t???).
Thank you Chocolate-Covered Katie! You’re my whole-grain hero.
Other food endeavors today involved Angela’s salt-kissed chunky PB chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t end up kissing them with salt though, as I am not a huge salt fan. I also subbed AB for the PB and used an egg instead of the canola oil, which worked fine. I didn’t mean to de-veganize it, but I had no canola oil and thought EVOO would taste weird.
The verdict? I loved them! These cookies managed to do something few cookies can do: they tasted healthy and earthy and not overly-sweet, but were also indulgent and satisfying. Cookie perfection, pretty much.
Bonus: they’re super easy — those two bowls contained all the ingredients (minus the chocolate chips). I’m pretty sure a 12 year old boy could do this.
The dough was really fun to shape into balls. I added about a billion extra chocolate chips. 🙂
I enjoyed one warm and fresh with vanilla almond milk. This was one of the best Cookie Friday’s ever!
Lots of delicious food today — my mind and body feel nourished!
Onto heavier things…(FYI: this post is heavily focused on weight and body image — if these things are upsetting to you or not helpful in your recovery, please please please skip this section).
Today was a wonderful, amazing, painful breakthrough day. It hurt very, very much. It might have been the most pain I have ever felt during the moment of therapy, but afterwards, I felt like this giant burden was gone from me. Like a little bird had carried it away, across a mountain, never to return again. Today was sort of like a raging river, with no bridge across it: I had to go through it to get to the other side. There was no alternate route, no detour. The river was big and scary and it hurt. I felt like I was going to drown. But L was there with me. It was sort of like I knew I couldn’t drown with her there, but I came as close to drowning as one can — I could feel the water welling up against all the sides of me.
That was dramatic. But today was a dramatic day, obviously. One that I need very much to write about and share with you all.
Today was the day that I finally completely and totally opened up to L (and myself, in a way) about my body-hatred and my struggles with my weight and my eating. I have always been open with you guys, but never to this extent. In fact, there are some things about this journey that I have not and probably will not tell you all. Forgive me. The body is the most personal space.
The anguish I feel over my weight (which is approximately 10-15 pounds above what I would ideally like it to be right now, and a few pounds above the uppermost limit of the “healthy” BMI) is greater than any other anguish I feel (0r have felt) in my life. There is nothing that makes me want to die as much as the shape and size of my body does.
I feel tremendous guilt over this; it’s ridiculous. I am an educated, smart, creative, lovely young person with many many talents and all I can think about is my body, sometimes. For God’s sake, I study human rights: I know all about the real horrors that are happening in this world (genocide, gang rape, starvation) and my weight is not one of them.
As I spoke with L — sobbed to her is more accurate, actually — she was simultaneously gentle and compassionate and firm and serious. It was a miraculous combination. Somehow, in some way, her responses made it clear to me the ways in which I am judging myself. And it isn’t very nice. I would never, ever even think these things about another person. So why is it that my 15 extra pounds incapacitate me? Why do I feel morally reprehesnible and irresponsible and disgusting?
Well, of course, I don’t know exactly why I have come to feel this way — why this is the only way I have understood my body, since early adolescence. Maybe it is related to the face that I am not (and never will be) naturally thin. That is simply not the way I am built. I have spent the last five years trying to change that. Recovering from the pulmonary embolism has showed me that life isn’t fair. My body isn’t fair. I eat well. Sometimes I overeat. But I can run ultramarathons. I can run 50 miles a week and lift weights and do yoga. I love vegetables. So why me? I think “why me” is the wrong question and “when can I start loving myself regardless of the shape of my body” is the right question.
I have never actually been suicidal, but I have wanted to die. Because of my body. What is this world coming to that someone as talented and smart as I am wants to die because of the way she looks? More importantly, what is happening in my world that makes me want to die because of my looks?
Between the now-uncontrolled PCOS (I can not take hormones now or ever again because of the PE), the sudden ending of the birth control pills, the stress, the physical recovery, and a few other things, my body is out of whack right now. There are, quite simply, things beyond my control. As I was sitting on the couch, rocking back and forth,. holding my face in my hands, so distraught that I couldn’t speak — I realized, clearly and distinctly, that I have to change the way I think about my body. Certainly there are moments when I like myself, physically. But there are many more moments where I despise my thighs or my breasts or my neck or the space just above my elbow.
And these moments are only hurting me more. Now that I say it out loud, it sounds obvious. But hating myself only sucks out more energy and makes me feel worse. These 15 pounds do not represent my life. I am so much more than 15 fucking pounds.
FYI: I am NOT suicidal, by any means, at this moment. If you think you need help, please get help — you deserve to live. I have a list of resources on my Mental Health page, here. Although I am NOT a health professional, you are always welcome to email me as well.