BoysEatingTherapyWorkouts

Today’s Happy Note: Flirting with a British guy at the grocery store…

Boys

I don’t know if my Happy Note has ever involved a boy.  But male specimens have been flying around in my life like crazy lately!  I don’t know where they’re coming from.  Well, I do: the library, the gym, the specialty market.  I suppose they have always been there.  But now I’m noticing them.  And they’re noticing me.  And this is all so strange and new and, well, a little bit wonderful, for me.  It’s sort of a little self-confidence feedback loop: as I have become more and more confident in my abilities, my personality, and my body, I think other people notice that confidence. Feeling loved and sought out then reinforces the confidence, etc., etc.

I will NEVER base my self-worth off of men.  I am my own woman, my own beauty, my own happiness.  But having others involved in my life is a beautiful, fulfilling thing.  Relationships — of all varieties — are a component of happiness and self-fulfillment.

I am not sure if all this flirtation (interaction? fun?) means anything or will lead to anything.  But I honestly regret not introducing myself to the man at the store.  He truly seemed wonderful, and it couldn’t have hurt to say my name.  I rarely get that sensation in my gut like “I should have done something differently.”  I did this evening.  But I can’t go back and talk to him now, can I?  I’m pretty sure he’s gone by now. 🙂

Eating

I definitely was emotionally snacking this evening.  I sort of got onto a weird eating schedule today and ended up being hungry at 10:00.  Once I have one snack in the evening, I can never have just one.  Does anyone else have this issue?  I am still in the process of observing my eating habits, emotions, rhythms, and associations. I am not getting angry at myself at this point.  More and more, I am beginning to realize that I deserve the best: I deserve to feel happy in my mind and body and to treat myself with love and care and kindness and respect.  I know this sounds all soft and new age-y, but it is what I am thinking about a lot lately.  In the past few months, I have felt like I have actually begun thinking about and repairing my relationship with food.  The funny thing is that I’m probably at my highest weight ever right now.

A big realization in this process has been that hunger is not a character flaw. Food is not the enemy.  Wanting to eat does not indicate some horrific problem in my body or in my heart.  I haven’t had a chance to talk about this with L much, but do plan to soon.  We have talked ever so slightly about my body image and general eating concerns, but that just isn’t an area we have explored yet.  I am anxious to do so.  Our weekly hour-long sessions never seem long enough!

I think this is a good segue into some vague therapy thoughts…

Therapy

As I said last week, my relationship with L and my thoughts about the process of therapy are changing.  This is okay.  Thanks for all your sweet thoughts on this — I was a little nervous that people wouldn’t want to read if I changed the content of my therapy posts.  But I need to do what I am comfortable with and what is right for my mental health at the moment.  I still struggle with depression and anxiety, daily.

So I am not entirely sure of the direction my therapy posts will go on at the moment.  I still write detailed thoughts in my journal.  I might share all or some of those thoughts on the blog, or some days, none.  I might just talk about the process, or something tangential, or simply verbalize some questions.

All I know is that my relationship with L has undergone a subtle but powerful, sudden shift over the summer.  It is now painfully intimate.  Lovely, raw, tender, delicate.  Different.

It’s funny how sometimes my biggest revelations in therapy aren’t necessarily related directly to what we talk about. Sometimes the breakthroughs come from connecting things in new ways, or from writing about it afterwards.  This week we talked a lot about stressors and money and the little things that tend to build up and make me crazy.  Not in a structured way at all — our sessions are terribly unstructured, and I like it that way.  I like that she never says things like “tell me a list of things that stress you out, and how those things make you feel.”  It is so much more organic than that.  That’s part of the beauty of it.  It is simply, on one level, a deep conversation between two people — an open wound.

The revelation this week was that I am capable of relating to and empathizing with people. And, therefore, I am capable of growing and sustaining satisfying friendships, relationships, etc.  I need not judge others — or myself — on their feelings.  I can be calm and gentle with others.  I can open up to them (even if it takes some time).  This ties back to what I said about food earlier; I deserve love, caring, affection.  From myself and those around me.  In fact, I deserve it so much that I can (and should) be an active participant in the development of relationships in my life.  In the last year, as I have come to understand myself better,  I have also begun understanding others.  And the ways in which we relate.

Sometimes, my relationships with other people hurt.  And other times they are very, very soothing and right.

I loved how our dialog went back and forth this week.  I love learning new things about L; it is important for me in terms of my ability to open up to her.  She told me a lot about her career trajectory, especially in her 20s, yesterday.  This was helpful to me both in terms of figuring out how the next few years of my own life might look and in terms of understanding and relating to her better.  She got married when she was 22 and divorced at 40.  I can’t imagine being married so young.  I almost didn’t believe her.  I don’t think that uncovering bits and pieces of her life is unproductive to my therapy at all.  Many psychotherapists and mental health professionals thing it is.  But I don’t.  It might be hard for her to sustain several of these intimate relationships, but, first of all, I know that not every patient is as interested in knowing her and, secondly, I get so much more out of it when I have this verbal, emotional dance with her.

Random but important thoughts.  That’s all for this week, I think.

Workouts

Yesterday I did four miles easy, with 5×100 meter strides thrown in, and 45 minutes full body strength training.  Today I did seven miles with hills.  Marathon training=hungry Caronae.  I will admit, I have a lot of anxiety about losing weight while training.  I might need to come up with some more specific goals and plans.  We shall see.

Goodnight friends!  Have I ever mentioned how wonderful you all are?  Seriously, every comment warms my heart.  Blogging has led me to such wonderful friends.  Even if you just stop by to read for a few minutes, I know you’re there, and it makes me feel so happy and connected.

Happy Friday!

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Nut Butter Sneaking Habit

Today’s Happy Note: Napping.  Self-acceptance.  Let me explain: I have felt pretty sleepy and a wee bit lethargic this week.  Normally when that happens, I get angry at myself (“gee Caronae, why can’t you be more productive; you’re so lazy; you suck”).  Not this time.  I had a splendid afternoon nap and I just took it for what it was.  I am not a terrible person.  I don’t spend all my time sleeping.  My body knows when it needs a little extra love and rest, and I listened to it.  I am proud of myself for that.  Small victories people.  Small victories.

Something else I’m proud of: My run today! Tuesdays are speed work days.  I’ve said it before: speed work scares the crap out of me.  It’s really hard for me because my fast twitch muscles are kind of non-existent.  Because I know it’s hard, I work myself up into an anxious fit and then make it even harder for myself!

Not today.  The plan was 2 mile warm up, 4×1 mile @ tempo pace, 2 mile cool down.  I did 1/4 mile easy run/walk between each fast mile, for a total of 9 miles.

My tempo pace goal was 9:00 minutes per mile.  I crushed it!

Mile 1: 8:36

Mile 2: 8:34

Mile s: 8:30

Mile 4: 8:27

I was so shocked.  I worked hard, it felt hard, but I did it!  I love that amazing feeling you get after a good hard speed workout.  I enter into a state of physical, emotional calm and my body and mind become so content and relaxed.

I’m proud of myself indeed.

No Therapy Tuesday today because my therapist had an emergency and had to cancel.  I felt really bad for her; I could tell how stressed and anxious she was when she called; she seemed really upset and I actually felt like the inconsistency bothered her more than me!  Then, as I was walking home from work, I ran into her outside the grocery store. It was really weird to see her outside of the office environment (her office is actually in her apartment, which I really like because it seems more comfortable and less stiff)!  I could tell how completely harried she was; I was actually a little bit nervous that she was about to have a panic attack or something.  Anyways, I told her not to worry and to calm down.  Sort of a weird little reversal of roles.  We rescheduled for tomorrow.

I heart frozen berries.

And chocolate-topped smoothies.

Dinner was epic, not to mention that it took five minutes to prep.  I combined a can of tuna with a few spoonfuls 2% Fage, garlic hummus, chopped bell peppers, and guacamole.  Holy easy dinner.  Holy tastiness.

I just ate a weird iced tea slushy concoction.  It looks really weird so I’m not gonna share any pictures.  It’ for your own benefit, trust me.  It was iced chamomile tea (sweetened with stevia and honey) blended with a boatload (yes, that’s a word) of ice cubes.  Random, but I was craving something cold and icy, and this did the job.

Confession: I have a nut-butter-sneaking habit. I take pictures of most of what I eat, since it is helpful for me to have a record.  But spoonfuls of nut butter and tiny handfuls of nuts often escape the camera.  I don’t deprive myself, ever, but I also know that I don’t necessarily need those extra calories. So I’m making a promise to myself to photograph everything I eat; even those tiny spoonfuls.  I don’t share all my eats on the blog everyday (today there were maybe two spoonfuls of unpictured nut butter and a serving of TJ’s mini PB cups).  Can you tell I like PB?

I didn’t eat a lot today given that I ran nine miles (and maybe walked two more?), but I think it makes sense given that I ate more than I needed to yesterday.  I love how my body balances things out and really figures out what’s going on and what it needs or doesn’t need.  Bodies are so smart.

Be back tomorrow with Therapy Wednesday!

I hope you’re all having a most wonderful week.  Relax, smile, breathe!

Therapy Tuesday

Today’s Happy Note: Getting out of the city!  Got to go visit a college in PA with my babies (aka high school students I work with).  It showed me that I am a capable leader and mentor.  Plus, it was kinda nice driving through the Poconos.

This has gotta be a major quickie; I might just have the busiest day of my life tomorrow — including a sweet surprise that I promise to blog about (with pictorial evidence, of course)!

Yesterday workout: 6 miles (2 GP — general pace –, 2 tempo, 2 GP) plus four accidental walking miles.

Today was not the best day in terms of eating OR marathon training.  With the training, I was supposed to do an easy three miles with strides; I just decided to swap that out with Friday’s rest day.  I am so busy during the middle of the week.  Hopefully that settles down once school starts.  I walked a few miles and did some gentle stretching.  Eating: I did take pictures of everything, and most of it was relatively healthy, but it was too much.  I know I wasn’t hungry for all of it.  Do you ever just feel like you desperately need to eat even though you aren’t hungry? Oh well.  Tomorrow is a new day, and there are far worse things in life than consuming extra calories via almond butter, fruit, yogurt, and dark chocolate.

I am proud of myself because, even if my eating is still not perfect, I am beginning to recognize my patterns. I know Monica is working on this right now too and it is harder than it sounds.  Am I hungry?  Sad?  Ecstatic?  Confused?  Do I eat a lot in the evening?  Do I feel fuller when I have PB for dessert or cereal (PB!)?  Am I lonely?  Am I restricting and then overcompensating?  Am I eating enough to fuel me through a six or eight mile run — or am I using that as an excuse to eat too much?

I DON’T have all the answers, but I AM realizing that the journey is pretty fun.  I am learning so much about myself.  For example, I just noticed something important today: computer troubles=eating troubles para Caronae.  Nothing stresses me out quite like a computer problem — even if it’s something really small.  So I have noticed this, and I know that I have an arsenal of alternative tools (i.e., not emotional eating): beautifying myself (painting my nails, eyebrow plucking, doing my hair, getting a massage), and curling up with tea and a stack of magazines.  Those are just two little things that make me happy right now!

A few eats:

Bacon has been involved.

Yum!

Therapy Tuesday

Today was characterized by our shared laughter.   I don’t really know how this happened — certainly not everything I said (or L said) was funny — but it happened, and once we started finding humor or joy in things, we couldn’t stop.  It was lovely.  I had two main announcements to make (both of which you already know):

1. I am applying to law school in the fall and,

2. I am going to be running the marathon come November.

I honestly just haven’t had a chance to tell L either of these things yet.  I started with number one.  I was a little bit surprised by her reaction, which was not one of warmth, and undying support.  Looking back, I guess I didn’t really need that anyways.  Sometimes I feel like L knows what’s best for me even when I don’t know what’s best!  Anyways, she basically encouraged me, but also reminded me that I am young, that I can and should do more research, and that I should think about what exactly this means to me and what I want to do with my life.  These are big questions that I am not necessarily ready to tackle, but I am glad she reminded me that, at the very least, that can be floating around in the back of my head.  I was mildly annoyed at her because I sort of thought she was lecturing me and sounding exactly like my mom does about school stuff.  I felt as though she was telling me that I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m a baby and blah blah blah.  I told her this and she sort of gently pointed out what she really meant and noticed that I was doing a bit of projection of my mother onto her.  Point taken.

But I was feeling a bit wound up, unsettled, and anxious at this point.  But: I let her in.  I let L know about this, about the turmoil that was mounting inside me over such a small thing.  And one of the things she said actually comforted me quite a lot: I stated that when this happens — when I get anxious and panic in the moment of therapy — I feel like I’m wasting my(limited) time with her, and she said that this is my life; this is real and these are my feelings and what better thing than for them to happen in the moment with her, so that she can help me figure them out?  Brilliant!

She sort of walked me into talking about the marathon, even though I didn’t want to.  And guess what?  Again,  I ended up feeling better.  She is so damn smart sometimes it scares me.

L was happy for me about the marathon.  Sometimes I wish she could be more involved in my real life.  But it was nice today to have that brief moment where my real life and therapy sort of merged.  That was new.  And to have everything be sort of light — I actually don’t think I cried at all, which is highly unusual.  It was just like the littlest things about our relationship became humorous; like we know each other so well that we can laugh about each other, at each other.

So today was new.  Refreshing.  Intense but calming.  Funny, real, jarring.  Wonderful in many ways.

My Name Is Caronae And I Like To Eat

Today’s Happy Note: World Cup watching with friends!  Also, I got to see the room I am going to be living in come September and it is nice and relatively spacious (for a dormitory).

Workout: Five and a quarter mile HOT run followed by a 90 minute vinyasa class at Yoga Shala. Sometimes I feel really stressed out and can’t get into a run; usually this comes down to having pre-planned my mileage and route.  I have found that if I let myself go for however long I want, however far I want, and in whatever direction I want, I feel much better.  I always felt that if I let myself run the way I actually wanted to, I wouldn’t go far enough or burn enough calories.  But that isn’t the case at all!  Being happy and calm during a run is definitely worth sacrificing a mile or two.  And you know what?  When I’m happy, I usually end up running further anyways.  It’s kind of a win-win situation.

Onto other things.  More edible things…

Hi.  My name is Caronae.  And I like food. Tasty food only, of course.  Non-tasty foods need not apply.

Protein ice cream = always tasty.

I’ve never met a blueberry-banana smoothie that I didn’t love.

And egg, cheddar, and greens sammies never fail to produce many, many noms.

My camera died just before dinner but it was so delectable I just might die if I don’t describe it: mahi-mahi burger (from WF) topped with a “salsa” made from basil, pineapple, and cucumber.  Served with a side of leftover pasta salad.  This is pretty much the definition of summer dining.

I am slowly coming to the realization that it’s okay to like food.  I’m writing a little memoir/vignette for a writing exchange with Sarah and it is about food.  At first I was infuriated at myself for choosing a food-related memory.  Our topic was simply “Summer.”  Why couldn’t I write about playing on the playground or swimming at the beach or going on canoe trips with my dad?  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that food is a healthy part of both our emotional and physical lives.  It sustains and nourishes us, but it also makes us happy and helps us connect with others. In the memory I chose, food (specifically a miniature pie — sorry for the spoiler Sarah!) helps me connect to my sister and clarifies my love for her.  The food, as a child, helped to outline the ways in which we related.

I often stare at thin women who seem to be eating large meals or, well, pretty much anything other than salads.  I envy them and think, “how do they eat so carelessly?”  But I have been able to reframe that question as of late and have begun to wonder “why don’t I just let myself enjoy food more?”  Sometimes I might want to eat a big dessert at a restaurant, or have a slice of pizza after a night of partying (okay, so that only happens like twice a year or so, but I needed an illustrative example).  Sometimes I am so focused on eating — eating X amount of fruits and veggies or forcing myself to eat a meal at a certain time or restraining myself from overeating — that I forget about the actual food!

It’s just food!  And damn it, sometimes it is meant to be enjoyed.  Those women I see eating “without abandon” are not necessarily voracious bingers who have endless problems in their relationship with food.  They might just be enjoying a nice meal.  So I am making a new goal for myself: really think about what I am eating.  Make more consciously enjoyable choices.  Maybe having a big dinner out is okay.  I am sure that it has become clear I struggle with balancing my eating.  Too much/not enough/too healthy/too unhealthy.  But I think that part of the answer to this little dilemma lies in simply enjoying the food that I am eating at the moment I am eating it.

So tonight, as I was eating my fish and my pasta salad, I decided that I wanted a glass of almond milk on the side.  Normally, this sort of extravagance would not be allowed.  But is a small glass of milk ever going to kill me?  Am I so concerned about getting fat that I can’t eat what I want sometimes?  I don’t want to live like that.  In the past week or so, there were a few days when I ate my afternoon snack at 3:00, instead of between 4:00 and 5:00 which is when it is normally “allowed.”  This is obviously ridiculous.

So.  Hello!  My name is Caronae.  And I like my food.  Sometimes I eat it purely out of hunger.  Other times it is a social thing.  Other times, it fulfills a want.  And this is okay.  It is hard for me  to accept this new way of eating, but I am going to try!

This week is looking to be busy.  Lots of work stuff.  Hopefully some nice changes in therapy.  A personal training appointment.  Events with friends!

What is on your plate (forgive my pun) this week?  Anything exciting?

Long Run, Emotional Eating, Springtime, A Surprise!

Today’s Happy Note: Started a semi-interesting, and at least important, task at work today.  It’s really hard to explain but basically involves cross-checking a lot of lists about what’s in our collection.  Fun-ness.  Made me feel more useful than when I just get the mail and answer the phone. Oh, and it’s April now, one of my favorite months!

Exercise: Finally got the long run in today — 15 miles!  It was the most beautiful springy day in NYC.  There were so many people in CP, but the views were worth it.  I saw crocuses, violets, daffodils, tulip shoots, cherry trees, magnolia trees, dogwood, wild rose buds.  Delicious (does anyone else enjoy using food-related adjectives to describe non-food items, or is it just me?).

I felt fantabulous for the first ten or eleven miles, but the last four were painful and slower.  Meh.  Maybe not enough fuel beforehand?  The last few miles hurt in a really weird way; it was like my pelvis was sore.  I have this pain a lot, but it was really bad.  And my hip flexors and ankles were tight.  Guess I need to stretch more!

Eats: So, confession.

I ate way too much yesterday; I just started snacking in the afternoon and could not stop.  I often snack a little too much after dinner but this was more than too much.  Ugh.  I’m focusing on keeping my eats cleaner than usual the next few days; ultimately, I don’t think that one day of overeating will matter, since it probably only happens a few times a year, but it annoys me to feel not in control, ya know?  I hate that my immediate stress-response is eating.  I identified several stressful situations that were stressing me out at the time; I think that’s the first step.  I also want to make a list of alternative responses:

1. Drawing/sketching

2. Writing

3. Puzzles, cards, word games

4. Getting blog stuff done (new pages, guest posts, etc.)

5. Making tea

6. Reading the newspaper or fiction

7. Call friends/stop by their rooms

That’s a pretty good list I like to think!  Do you guys use any of these tactics or any others?  Or are you just one of those people who never feels the hunger monster?

I’ve heard that there are such people but I don’t know any 😉

Pretty eats from today and yesterday, followed by a special announcement!

And my surprise….

I’m the proud new mama of a blender!  I have been coveting one for months.  I was going to possibly get one at home but the timing didn’t work out.  My mom sent it to me for Easter, my favorite holiday!

Blenders potential uses:

smoothie/protein shake  master

chocolate avocado pudding creator

-soup-maker extraordinaire (love some of Gena’ s recipes!)

banana soft-serve/ice cream producer

-?????

As you can see, I am quite the excited girl right now.

What is something that happened to you today that you’re excited about?

Running, Protein, And Fat!

Daily Creativity: I won’t lie, nothing much creative has happened yet.  Maybe some sketching?  I’m so mad at myself for forgetting to bring my pastels back with me when I was home last week!  Well, my dinner salad was kind of creative I guess.

Cook’s Mission: Go vote for my cook’s mission entry (you have to scroll down quite a bit) here.  Or vote for whatever one you like the best!  I personally thought Mae’s muffins and Health-Foodies apricot and rosemary filled pretzels rocked.  To vote, just leave a comment on the recipe you like the best!

Run: Today was my first run since the race.  Perhaps I should have started out low and slow, but for some reason I really wanted to do eight miles.  When I get an idea for a route or distance in my head, I tend to stick to that plan no matter what, even if I’m not really feeling it.  Not the greatest habit, but today turned out alright.  Very slow though; I think I did about 8, or perhaps a little bit less, in 85 minutes.  I was doing a lot of hilly trails in CP though, so that was part of the slowness.  My legs just felt generally tired too.  If I still feel sluggish in five days I’ll be annoyed, but right now I’m just accepting that they might have a little residual exhaustion 🙂

Tomorrow I’m going to take my friend J outside for his first ever outdoor run!!!!  He can do 3.25 on a treadmill, but I know I can get him up to 5 outside.  He’s a trooper. I’m SO proud of him; three years ago when we started college, he was overweight and really out of shape.  He started making simple changes like eating whole wheat bread and low fat milk and having more fruits and veggies and now he is strong, powerful, and way healthier.  Go J go!

How long does it take you to recover from a hard race?

Announcements, Announcements, Annouuuuunnnnncements: Okay, sorry, that probably seems really random to you.  We used to have to sing that phrase every morning at the camp I went to for nine years.  It will forever be stuck in my head.

1. Thanks for everyone’s sweet comments yesterday

2. I really want a blog header/fun layout, but I’m very poor and can’t really justify spending money on the blog.  Anyone have any suggestions/know-how/friends who design websites?

3. I’m going to be running another race soon.  A really awesome but very difficult and painful race.  One that I have run once before (hint: it was in December and you can learn more about it on one of my pages from the sidebar).  Drumroll…

Run around the island 33 mile ultramarathon!!!!!!!!  I AM REALLY EXCITED this time around: I have no tibia issues and my microfractures are long gone.  I know I’m strong and I have the endurance.  And it’s in two weeks.  Gah!  This isn’t really something that I would train for outside of my normal running, and since it’s so soon I don’t know that I’ll want to do any 18-22 milers before it.  I’ll probably do a 12-14 miler during the middle of this week, and I should be fine.  Last time we did 33.4 miles in 6 hours 8 minutes.  I guess it’d be cool if we could beat that time; I ran it with two guys and they were both so supportive and encouraging.  Not sure if we’ll have more people this time, but it’d be cool if we did.  More people=more fun!

Random eats  from the day (forgot to charge my camera so I don’t have everything):

Whole wheat pasta with lots of veggies, chicken, a little alfredo sauce and too much cheese.

Luna protein bar: OMG this was wonderful.  I have high bar standards, and although this may not be super “clean”, it was super tasty.  Most chocolate peanut butter flavored things fail, but this one was downright impressive.  It tasted like the girl scout peanut butter patties cookies (which, in my opinion, are way better than thin mints)!

Grocery heap!  Things I’m excited about: Tera’s whey protein powders, chocolate almond milk, black cherry steaz, and justin’s maple almond butter (ON SALE!).

Dinner: lentil soup, giant salad with romaine, spinach, carrots, bell peppers, blackberry, and half of an apple chicken sausage.  Dinnertime perfection.

Emotional Eating (warning: wordiness ahead):

I think one of the first things I need to do in evaluating my emotional eating/over eating, after examining what my feelings really are (which is a lot of what therapy is about, so this is already covered mostly), is examine the ways in which my diet is and is not working for me.  There are a few things I have noticed so far:

1. I am someone who needs a lot of vegetables, protein and fat.  I know it’s cliche to say that “carbs are not your friend” but for me they pose one major problem: if I have a carb-based meal at any point in the day after breakfast, I will only want carbs for the rest of the day.  If I have cereal or granola at lunch, I cannot resist having it for snack and dinner too.  I think that for my body chemistry (insulin-resistant), carbs actually have an addictive property.  I am one of those people for whom sugar necessitates more sugar.  I have noticed a few things that help with this: small servings of whole grain bread, pasta, or actual grains with lunch or dinner seem to help keep me full and satisfied, include lots of plant based volume at most meals, and eat more protein or fat.  Sounds simple, and really, it is.  So this is something I have observed (non-judgmentally) and plan to work on!

2.  If I get too hungry or wait too long between meals, I will dive into the sugar (ice cream, cereal, chocolate,whatever’s around).  I think the solution to this is as simple as making sure I’m eating every 3-4 hours, and when I do get into a hunger state, respond by having some fat and protein immediately.

3.  After-dinner snacking: if I occupy myself after dinner with blogging/reading/homework/cleaning etc., I tend to not have the snacky feeling!  I am not sure why, but I get really intense sugar cravings after most meals, regardless of what the meal consists of.  If I wait a half an hour or so though, these cravings typically go away!  I need to practice mindfulness and consciousness in the evenings.  I think this is a good first step.

I really wanted to do a Flashback Friday (Janetha makes them look so fun) but this post is already way too talky.  Maybe I’ll do one tomorrow?  Is this allowed?

Alright bloggettes, what are you up to this weekend?  Any fun exercise classes or adventures planned or delicious new meals waiting to be consumed?

Food and Feelings

I’ve been feeling really lazy in terms of exercise this week.  Lots of walking and a little bit of yoga; maybe I’ll do a little shredding after this post.  I do plan on getting out for a nice long-ish run early tomorrow morning.  I think it’s fine to be resting a lot after an intense training cycle and race, I suppose.  I feel like I need some exercise-adventure in my life.  Just something new and exciting, like surfing or rock climbing or mountain hiking or coral reef snorkeling.  Unfortunately, those things aren’t really options right now.  Anyone have any ideas for fun but still intense exercise options in NYC?

They were planting flowers all over campus today!  Mostly pansies and daffodils, but the colors were quite lovely — lots of periwinkle and lavendar shades.  This kind of thing makes me super happy.

Okay, no pictures today because I was pretty lazy, but also because I felt like I wasn’t eating healthfully enough or was eating too much.  A lot of times I feel negatively towards my relationship with food regardless of what fuel I use, but today I really did feel like I wasn’t giving my body what it needed.  I’m going to take pictures of everything for (at least) the next two weeks so I have a visual record at the end of each week.  I’ll only post highlights though so as not to bore you 🙂

Food, Love, Emotion:

I’ll be honest with you guys (and myself): in the past few weeks, I have been struggling with managing my emotions without turning to food.  Because of my activity level, this typically isn’t a major problem: if I have eaten several hundred extra calories, I’ll probably just burn them off on my next twelve miler.  But this isn’t the issue. The issue is that sometimes I eat when I am already full and sometimes I eat when I am feeling intense emotions, instead of turning to healthier outlets.  With that said, I am proud that I have been surviving (and even beginning to thrive) despite my mental illness.  It is not always easy to function through serious depression, but I have taken ownership over my disease in so many ways.  I see a therapist, I have lots of hobbies and passions that I can turn to, I have supportive friends and family members.  I acknowledge these triumphs and take pride in my improvements and newfound ability to love myself.  I think, however, that this might be the point at which I’m finally ready to begin moving away from using food as an emotional assistant.

These are the things that food can do for me:  fuel me through long days and workouts, help my brain and heart and organs to do their jobs, help me connect with those around me through social situations, and serve as a source of pleasure through cooking/experimenting/eating.  These are the things food can do for me.  Notice what I did not include in the list: food cannot solve my problems and it cannot be a friend.

For me, I think it is helpful to sketch out the reasons, emotions, and situations that cause me to turn to food:

1. Frustration: earlier tonight my computer was alternately not working or running really really slow (like Stone Age slow).  I reocgnized intellectually how frustrated and helpless this made me feel.  And then I proceeded to eat chocolate and granola.

2. Anxiety: when I feel tense or confused, food often seems like an easy remedy; it helps me ignore the situation rather than actually dealing with it.

3. Loneliness: this is the big one.  I have friends, acquaintances, family members, coworkers, peers, teachers, mentors.  I have a huge human support network who I can turn to when I feel sad or scared.  Learning how to do this will be integral, I think.

So this is where I am, emotionally, at this point.  I am a smart, educated woman.  I have begun the process of growing self-esteem over the last year, and I believe that this knowledge can translate to improved self-awareness regarding my eating patterns.  I think I’ll probably talk about these issues more in upcoming posts.  I apologize if that’s really not what you want to hear, but I think it’s something I need for my personal development.

Do you struggle with confusing food and feeling?  Do you have ideas or tips or thoughts about it?

See you tomorrow!

Caronae