Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Long Food Confession

Food and I have had an odd relationship for a long time. I grew up a horribly picky eater, (and am so getting payback with two picky eaters of my own-one who won't eat anything but plain pasta) and still am somewhat picky. I was a vegetarian for 10 years until I was pregnant with my first and was anemic. Now I eat only chicken, and only if it is cleverly disguised to not taste like chicken.

When I was around 12, I filled out-not my chest, just my body. It seemed to me I got big overnight. My best friend was as tall as I was, but a string bean. I compared myself to her, and felt big and awkward. Having a brother that teased me about my size did not help my confidence.

By high school, I started worrying over my weight. I would eat 300 calories in a day, then eat 3000 the next. My relationship with food was not healthy, especially for the athlete that I was. In my mind, food=fat. I had no concept of healthy, balanced meals.

I grew up watching my mom do fad diets and ordering infomercial exercise equipment that was used only for hanging laundry. She worked swing shift, so I was left on my own for grocery shopping and meals. One night I would have a lean cuisine, the next a whole frozen pizza with a side of cookie dough, then I would feel horrible with guilt. I briefly tried purging, but for the life of me could not bring myself in puke on purpose.

My senior year I still worried over my size, not understanding that you can't change your frame size. I compared myself to everyone else without a sense of practicality or reason. By summer, I stopped eating as much as I could-and I liked the results.

See, this is the trap with anorexia. It does work as weight loss. At times I would give in to sweets, and I would punish myself by running. I would not have called myself anorexic, and still hesitate to use that title-but the signs were there.

I moved to Montana excited to start out on my own. I was poor, and it is hard to eat at all let alone well when you are poor. When I did eat, it was ramen or something equally cheap and processed. I worked at a restaurant, and for a while that was my only meal of the day. I started dating, and started eating more. Eating can be such a social thing. I still ate like a bird, but I ate without guilt. It was a good thing. I gained a little weight back, but not enough to worry me.

I look back at how I felt then, 125-130lbs at 5'10" and I still felt fat. I still tried to suck in my gut, and worried over arm flab. I look back at pictures from that time and think, I looked bad, all bone! Why didn't anyone tell me I looked bad?

Fast forward, I got engaged, got married. I am eating more and running less, and put on a few pounds. I was embarrassed, but okay with it. I was on the pill which didn't help. I sprained my wrist and my husband had to help me button my jeans. He commented that they were tight. I stopped eating unless I was with him and had to. I knew what I was doing wasn't healthy. I reached out to a few friends, but stopped short of actually asking for help. In my mind, that equaled saying I wanted to get fat.

The second year we were married, I discovered I was pregnant. Wait, what? Birth control failed us, but it wasn't a bad thing-just unexpected. I tried to eat well knowing it wasn't just for me. I didn't gain any weight and was eating a ton. It was great! The doctor complained about me being underweight, but I was thankful to not get fat. That didn't last. Of course I got fat. Have you ever seeing a pregnant woman NOT get fat? Hello! It was hard watching my body change, knowing it would never be the same. After he was born, I was depressed. Montana winter, being cooped up with a newborn when all my friends were in college or playing, and I was fat (in my mind). I had stretch marks. But the depression did work in my favor in one thing-I stopped micromanaging what I was putting in my mouth. I just ate.

Three babies later, I was overweight. And I didn't think I was that bad, although I cried having to buy size 16 pants that were tight. I ate dessert daily, and enough carbs for a whole family. I fed the kids fruits and veggies, but ate few myself. I was over 210lbs and knew I needed to make a change, but before I did-I needed a plan to do it right.

I worked out, still somewhat obsessively-I can't help that. I dieted, but I counted points using old weight watchers tools of my moms to make sure that I ate what I should, not just cutting out food. The weight slowly started to come off. I was relieved to see progress, and it felt good not to be starving. I lost 45lbs.

I started running. The remaining 25lbs came off steadily, and I was finally where I wanted to be. I kept running because it felt great and burned of my stress, but I still needed a goal. Met a friend who turned into a training partner who got me to race. Something to focus on! I am a person who needs goals, and needs a plan. Not to mention a competitive drive in everything. Training to race suited my needs perfectly. Now I was eating to fuel my training, and splurging some without guilt.

Being injured has taught me a lot. #1 you can't eat like when you are running when you aren't. duh, but still true. So I gained weight back. Not the end of the world, but I would like to get back where I was. #2 I don't only run so I can eat like I want and still keep my weight where I want, it is so much more a part of who I am now-I like that about me #3 I do miss eating whatever I want on long run days

#4 I am coming to understand that how my mom dealt with being overweight affected me. I don't want that for my kids, my girls especially. I don't want them hearing and repeating "I'm fat". I want them to have a healthy relationship with food, and the best I can give them is my example. (this topic may need it's own post later since this is way long)

I am easing myself back into running. today I did 5.6 with one mile at "tempo" 8:30 pace. That hurt, but it felt great to push it. I remember when I started running and how HARD it was. It felt that way the first few days, and now it feels like I can go forever again. I'm sure I can't, but it seems like it at mile 3.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer of Weight Loss

Kerrie came up with the idea to make the Summer of Weight Loss official adding in challenges and a weekly weigh in. I NEED that motivation. After being injured and off running, I have struggled with my eating. Well, like most runners, I love to eat. So I definitely don't struggle to eat-ha! The problem is I didn't keep my portion control in check with burning fewer calories, and I have a huge sweet tooth. I love sugar in all it's forms. When I am stressed and can't run, guess what I reach for? yep, sugary snacks. I try not to keep them in the house, but give in more often than I should.

So, as of July 5th I have been trying to keep as accurate of a food log as I can manage. I am trying hard to make smart choices, eating lots more fruits and veggies. This trip to Canada is making things a little more challenging. Canada is EXPENSIVE! We are trying to eat under $60 for the 5 of us, since that is my husbands daily amount from work. Thankfully the hotel has breakfast, sort of. We are doing PB&J for lunches, with carrots and cheese slices for snacks. The mini fridge is stocked with healthy food as much as I'm able, but eating out for dinner every night is tough. Especially kid friendly food. Last night was IHOP. I ordered off the lower calorie menu which was fine, but I inhaled the food and left hungry.

I know I don't need as many calories as my body thinks it does. I remember when I was first dieting, I thought I should never feel hungry. Sometimes our bodies like to trick us into thinking we are hungry when we are just fine. I did eat a package of fruit snacks last night before bed, which was better than the chocolate candy bar I really wanted.

I weighed myself over a week ago, just to see where I was at-and I almost cried. I am up 12lbs. No wonder my clothes are tight. So very frustrating, and I am upset with myself. It's okay though, I know now is the time to turn it around! I've done it before, and I know I can do it again.

Starting weight (as of last week sometime) 163lbs
Goal Weight 148 (this is the lowest I got my weight down, I wouldn't mind a few pounds off of that either. anything in the 140's I'll be happy with)

I will try to get before pictures up soon.

Challenge for this week: Eat a fruit and vegetable that you have never tried before
I am a picky eater-I admit that. This will be a challenge for me, especially not being able to grocery shop really, but I'll give it a shot! Thankfully the hotel breakfast has bananas and apples. Certainly not new, but free. :)

I ran 3 miles this morning that felt sluggish. I really argued with myself over going or resting. The calorie burn in my favor tilted the scale.
Breakfast, small box frosted flakes with skim milk, PB toast, 1/2 banana, and COFFEE!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Welcome to Canada, Eh?

What a week this has been. I keep thinking things will slow down, but it hasn't happened yet! Last weekend I decided to have a yard sale, which was a huge success. But seriously, yard sales are HORRIBLE! Ugh! Now I remember why I rarely bother. Doing it on the weekend of the 4th made for a long weekend. The 4th was great. They had a concert and fireworks at the fairgrounds. we told the kids in advance they could use their money for rides or food, and that was it. No fussing or whining or we would go home. They did great! They sold cookies at the yard sale and made almost $8. We bought a small book of tickets, so they each got 4 rides. It worked very well, and best of all, we got to stay for the fireworks with no fussing!

Monday we tried to recover, and Tuesday was back to work for me teaching class. I was told summer is usually pretty slow, so I didn't prep in advance. I had 18 girls show up between the ages of 8-17. ugh! Not what I was prepared for. There is just no easy way to teach ballet to that big of an age gap.

At noon, my husband called and asked if I could have the kids and I ready to travel in 2 hours? Ha! Um, no. Are you kidding? Every year we go to Kewlona, BC with him when he travels for work. It's the only place he goes where we can go and have fun while he works. This year, we thought it wasn't happening and his boss was taking the trip. Needing to be ready to go out of the blue was crazy!

After a stop Tuesday night, we made it here Wednesday evening. I was stressed and grumpy. Traveling with kids is so hard. I am thankful for the chance, but I was so done with whining. Dave took the kids for a walk to the park, knowing I needed a break. And I went for a run.

I love to run. It just makes everything else melt away, for a while at least. It was hot-still 90 degrees, so it was a slow and hot 3 miles, but it helped immensely. This morning I got up at 5am, and the weather was a perfect 60 degrees. 5 miles along the waterfront was a great way to start the day.

View for my run this morning. Gorgeous!

Last night after my run, my shin felt a little iffy. I was concerned. I probably should not have run this morning, but I needed to start my day right. I don't like being grumpy with my kids (PMS is part of the problem). I used my new shoes today, Asics Gel-Nimbus 12 and they felt much better! I am praying that I am truly on the mend, and no more injury!

Oh, and next post, Summer of Weight Loss-although my weigh in and measurements will have to wait until I get home.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Final Seattle Recap

Whew, what a weekend! A simple race report should not take this long. Of course, it doesn't help that they tend to be a little long.

Standing at the start line, looking at all those people was amazing. I was so glad that I decided not to miss the opportunity to run this race. Everyone started clapping and cheering-oh, I guess someone sang the National Anthem. I didn't hear it at all! Oh well. And we were off...

For such a big race, the wave start went smoothly. It was crowded sure, but it didn't seem like we were having to weave around people much at all. People watching at big races is awesome. Crazy costumes, like the dude in a polar bear costume, a couple of Elvis'-one with a fanny pack carrying a stereo. Then there was the guy with the blond mullet to the middle of the back. Zoe, Cassie and I tried to decide-wig, or real? I'm thinking wig, although can you say hot and itchy?

At around mile 3, we heard loud cheering. There was Kerrie and her cowbell! It was so great to have someone cheering for us by name!

Before we knew it, 6 miles had flown by. Wow, that is the longest I had run in 3 months. My muscles were starting to feel it a bit, and I was glad when Zoe suggested a quick walk break. I didn't want to be the first to ask to walk! The walk break was short but helped, and we were off again.

The hills weren't nearly as bad as I expected-not anything like Mercer Island! I was feeling much better than expected, and so far no pain in my shin. Running along the lake was beautiful, and we joked about wanting to go for a swim. There was a line of 40 (or so) soldiers holding American Flags. What a beautiful sight! I almost got choked up. As the wife of a veteran, I know the scarifies are HUGE but so worth it.

Up the steep hill to the freeway was really crowded. I wanted to run up, but was caught behind a group of people walking. Zoe charged up the hill, and waited for us at the top. Marathoners went right, we went left into the tunnel. The tunnel was LOUD and SMELLY! Ugh! I am not one to feel claustrophobic, but running in the tunnel made me want to get to fresh air, fast! Funny looking at my garmin for this section-I sped up a LOT! I got out of the tunnel and was thankful for the sea breeze while I waited for Zoe and Cassie to catch up.

This was the first race I have run with friends the whole way. I've started with people, but always got caught up in my own race and didn't stay with them. It was so fun to enjoy a race with other people, and to not give my watch more than a glance. No stress over pace, splits, finishing time. At times I could feel myself wanting to be caught up in the race, but I am so glad I stayed with Zoe and Cassie.

Mile 11 there was a steep downhill into town. Okay, THAT HURT! Shoot. Well, the damage is done. I was not going to quit! After that point, I could feel my shin the rest of the way. Zoe said let's run the rest, no walking. I didn't know if I had it in me. On to the viaduct and I wanted to walk in the worst way. Right when I was seriously considering it (it helped that there weren't any spectators right there) Zoe says, "Come on Kasey, You've got this!" It was what I needed, although I didn't know if I did have it! Downhill off the viaduct I was saying "ow ow ow ow" every step. The guy next to me gave me a funny look. Now I just wanted to be DONE!

We curved around toward Quest, and I kicked it and started picking everyone off I could. (chicked 4 guys) I didn't know where Zoe and Cassie were behind me, I just wanted to finish hard. Mr Garmin said 6:30 pace. Not a bad kick for being so out of shape! I heard my husband and my friend Joy cheering for me. I did it!

It felt great to get my first finishers medal, and to get my picture taken with Zoe and Cassie. Never has a half been so FUN and stress free. Maybe I should go into more races unprepared. Well, preferably with a lot more miles of training. Nice to know I can do the distance without training though. Of course, walking on Sunday was painful! Ouch!

My in-laws were laughing at me hobbling around Sunday and Monday, to which I said-
Totally worth it!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Birthday

Three years ago today, my last baby was born-all 8lbs of her (2 1/2 weeks early, thankfully!).

The last three years have alternately flown by, and felt like forever. Having a three year old, 18 month old and an infant was a huge challenge!

JJ Bug is my blue eyed dreamer. Always wandering around the house singing, spinning, dancing. She loves all things purple, and at 3 already likes shopping and the mall more than I do. She is the last to fall asleep most days, and always the first up saying her tummy needs food. She is fearless, willing to be first to jump off on anything and everything, wanting to keep up with her siblings.

She has the best grumpy glare ever, and looks so much like me at that age it is scary!

Even with the health problems I had after she was born, I cannot imagine our family without this spunky girl! Happy Birthday JJ!

I am hopefully going to finish my Seattle race report this afternoon-it depends on how the purple Tinkerbell cake goes.