Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1 Month Anniversary

A few days ago, I had my 1 month anniversary from not running. It's kinda funny how quickly things can turn for the better or worse... and in my case it has been for the better (I hope). Let me explain....
Cheryl, who is my office administrator, gave me this time article to read a few months back, and the cover read Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin. I remember looking at it, and shrugged it off... actually I think I even said to her, "This article is probably written by a frustrated, overweight person, who is trying to convince themselves and others that it's all pointless (exercise wise)"... I never read the article. Cheryl still tried to press me to read it, and I think I just told her, "When I have time.." Well my oh my...look how things have turned for me.... A little over 1 month ago, I remember trying to purge through all of our magazines at my clinic to find this article, and I finally read it. Due to reading that article, I am proud to say that even though I have gone from my typical 150-180 miles of running/month to a big fat 0, I have not gained one pound....actually, I think I lost 1-2 pounds.
In a nutshell, the article stated that because we exercise, we almost feel entitled to eat whatever we want. Now, I know that there are some people that don't do that, but I was not one of those people. My eating habits were absolutely horrendous. My typical day of eating would consist of
1. Very little to no breakfast
2. A huge lunch (anything from Burritos, burgers, pizza)
3. Lots of candy
4. Maybe a redbull or two...or three... or four
5. Dinner (Wifey cooks pretty healthy, so that wasn't a problem)
6. Ice cream, especially when watching sports before I go to bed
7. Fruit drinks, usually apple juice diluted with water

Couple that with my 35-50 mpw and my weight stayed stable for the most part.

Well, that has changed radically for me. What I realized is that I was running and eating for comfort, and just soothing my cravings at all times. My marathon readers will understand this when I say this, but running changes your mood, makes you feel good...it's a drug, albeit a positive one....but also, when you are running the distances that I was running, I was putting in a 800-1000 calorie cushion to my typical day, so 2,500-3,000 would not create any damage to my weight control. Then if you add my eating habits, I was eating lots of comfort foods...tons of sugar and salty foods, which would again satisfy my cravings...day after day... it made for a really happy, but honestly not the healthiest person (at least on the inside). So now, Greg and food have a different relationship... it's more of a business relationship. I use it to satisfy my needs for energy, not for cravings... it initially was really difficult, but it had to be done...because I couldn't substitute my running for any other exercise without setting myself back again... and it has been extremely successful.. so far. So this is basically my typical day.

1. Morning (I will have cereal with skim milk and usually cut up bananas)
2. I try to take in about 70-85 oz. or water a day. (I'm telling you, water is the key...it fills you up)
3. My lunches are usually pre made from home, or if I do eat fast food, it's a Turkey Breast sandwich on wheat bread from Subway (300 calories for a 6 in.). I will get a foot long, and then have the other half between sometime between 4-6 pm.
4. I use a power juicer (celery, garlic, carrots, broccoli, lettuce, etc.) or make a protein shake every day.
5. No more coffee

I basically have tried to limit my intake to about 1600 calories/day.

I had to mentally change my attitude toward my food and obviously "detox" myself from running. I truly think I am finally on the road to recovery...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Out for the season

I'm done running for the 2009 calendar year... And I might not be
running for a few months beyond that.
If you have read my previous entries, you know that the last few
months have been a rough patch for me with re: to resuming training after I
finished my 4th marathon in San Francisco. A few weeks after the race
I got a very bad flu, and I have struggled to train ever since.
Consecutive weeks of 25+ miles would just suck all the energy out of
me, and my paces for running have slowed down by about 2 min/mile. I'm
basically back to where I was at about 2.5 years ago, when I initially
started to run. Not really knowing what was going on, I continued to
train, but just took it week by week, and got some extensive blood
work done. Finally, and with at least some relief and closure, I have
been diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus. It's basically mono, but
it lasts for longer, usually 6-12 months. There is no real treatment
for it... You just have to wait for it to leave your body.... Or should I
say go dormant, because it never actually leaves your system. Rest,
fluids and patience are what I have to live by right now.

My MD basically put it like this..."Greg, you are not getting slower,
but you are certainly getting sicker. Running as much as you do puts a lot of stress on your body, and will prolong your recovery"

So it's been 3 weeks of no running, and I have had to develop a little
different perspective on things.

Being a Type A person, and loving structure in my life (can we say
OCD?), I have had to change my routine drastically. The 5:30-6:00 am
10-12 mile runs are done. I can't stuff my face with whatever I want
because I'm no longer burning 1,000 calories/ day. I'm not exercising
at all, so I have really had to clean up my eating and get very
serious about my nutrition.

I always feel like God always allows good to come out of what seems
like a negative situation. This situation is no different.

Probably the most positive result of my running over the past few
years has been my weight loss... And I have promised myself, that I
will do whatever I need to do to keep myself from not gaining the
weight back.

Over the next few months, that will be my main concern and where my
attention will have to focus. NUTRITION!!

This blog attracts a few runners, but I know that the majority of
people that read this blog are my weight loss clients based out of
Cypress Creek and patients at Renewal Rehab. I hope that by me posting
about my current situation, that it will serve two purposes.

1. Realizing that WE all go through situations that stink, but we have
to deal with the hand that we are dealt. All we can do is to try our
best to deal with it and rehabilitate ourselves to return to whatever
it was that previously made our lives feel complete. That might be something as trivial as what I am currently going through (not being able to run), or it could be walking, being able to eat without assistance, drive a car, or many other things.

2. Having a strong handle on my food intake is new ground for me. Just
like my running exploits, I feel like my best way to stay accountable
with this is to make this open to others that are currently struggling
with the same situation. Using this blog is my best way of
accomplishing that.

Thanks for reading and I will be posting early next week.