Monday, October 11, 2010

Changing a Dieter's Mindset

It sounds very weird to me to even think this, much less write it here, but I will, if only to beat it into my head: I'm not eating enough. And it's not for lack of wanting to eat, or trying...it's just that these long runs are killing my stomach. For the second Saturday in a row, I've had a really messed up G.I. tract, and even though I wanted to splurge on the calories that I burned off (over 1,000), I could barely eat anything. And Sunday wasn't much better.

Don't be jealous. Because it's not as much fun as I thought it would be. I mean, seriously, back in the day, when I weighed over 250 pounds, I would have LOVED to have this "problem" - and I also would have secretly made fun of someone who was complaining about it. What can I say...that bitch karma strikes again. When I willingly take Pepto-Bismol, you know I'm not feeling good.

At least this time I kept up with the hydration. Score one for me! But eating? First of all, the only thing that sounded remotely good after the run was a piece of dry toast. Which I did not eat, because hello, carbs? And who eats dry toast unless you're sick? I make my calories count, darn it! I emailed and texted with Helen, my running guru, who finally made me realize that I am not balancing the part of me who is now an "endurance athlete" (her words, but I love them) with the old me and my "dieter's mentality" - and she's right. I still look at everything as calories first, when I need to be seeing food as fuel for my body. I said last week that I'm asking a lot out of it with these long runs, but I'm not giving it what is necessary not only to perform well, but to recover decently.

So, this dieter has got to switch gears, mentally. Which is hard, after nearly 2 1/2 years of being so aware of everything that I eat. Foods that have been very low on my list of "allowable" more than once a week are now moving up. This means bagels, and not just on Sunday mornings (not that I've been able to stomach eating them lately), but on Saturday mornings before my long run. And maybe even on Friday mornings - I need to build up my carb intake before I tackle so many miles. Pasta will appear on the menu more. And while I still will keep to my lean proteins and low-fat ways, I'm not going to stress over calorie counts right now.

Oh, and I finally gave in and had some dry toast Saturday evening, along with a little soup. That plus the Pepto finally helped. Sheesh, you'd think I was hard-headed or something!


24 comments:

  1. Wise decision to start eating more. Your body needs it. And no worries about calories: you will be burning them. If you don't start eating more and will run more you are going to get your body exhausted and you don't want that.

    But I can understand it's difficult to switch your mindset.

    What you could try to is buy protein powder and drink that before or after your long run with milk or water. I drink it always after my longs and not only is it tasteful I notice it helps recover my muscles sooner.

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  2. Im no help here with regards to the running.
    the mindset? I always have plenty of change in my pocket to add my .02

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  3. If you haven't already I would recommend reading Nancy Clarks sports nutrition book the bible of sports nutrition she has good advice and good receipes.
    You must eat enough or you;ll run your body down and get sick(er) I know that is hard to hear but do take care of yourself...

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  4. It's been so fun watching you grow in this process. Seriously, thanks for your example.

    xoxox

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  5. I run five miles several times a week and what I do when I return home is drink a huge glass of fresh juice. A combination of juices usually including pineapple, banana, orange and papaya. You don't have to worry about the calories because you have burned them running and the juice will help your muscles... I never suffer from any kind of muscle soreness... As a runner, you need to be eating within 30 minutes of returning home.. once you get in the habit of doing this, you will see that you won't feel bad. The juice also helps keep you hydrated. Good luck on your training!

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  6. Hard-headed? You? *smile* On a serious note, I like how you said that back in the day you would have secretly made fun of people with this "problem." I would have, too. However, without having walked in a runner's shoes, "dieters" like me couldn't know how important (yes, IMPORTANT) a bagel is. Food as fuel? What a concept. Good luck with the new mindset, my friend.

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  7. You are going to feel SO much better once you start eating to fuel your body...and you know what? You will notice the difference in your runs too!

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  8. Yay for all the great comments you're getting affirming that you need good carbs!

    Carbs are not the enemy, and in fact, will also ultimately help you stay hydrated which I don't think I mentioned before.

    You really are doing great. It's a huge learning curve for everyone, not just former dieters.

    You rock Shelley! :-)

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  9. My favorite pre-exercise "indulgence" is a whole wheat bagel with dark chocolate almond butter and blueberries! It's very filling, with carbs and protein. ok, and CHOCOLATE :) I have my own version of the 'Green Monster' that is good too - provides hydration, protein, vitamins, etc. Good luck with this! You are inspiring me to work on upping my miles!

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  10. You can do it. It's great reading about your running, and your determination will see you through this little blip of readjustment. :) Do post what your fave carb fueller will be when you find it. A big cyclist friend of mine swears by a couple tins of chickpeas in a huge bowl of pasta in lots of garlic, olive oil & fresh chopped chilli the night before...

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  11. This is that thing that every dieter struggles with in the beginning - seeing food as fuel and not as comfort or reward, yanno? And now? You HAVE to see food as fuel or your body will rebel. This is exciting news. I mean, not about your tummy. But about the mindset!

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  12. Yep, you are an endurance athlete! I am glad you are bringing stuff like carbs and pasta back in your diet - because you are right, food is fuel and with good fuel you'll perform that much better!

    Hope your tummy is better by today!

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  13. It is hard to make that transition especially since in the past eating more meant gaining weight. But now that you are burning so many more calories, you CAN eat more and get away with it. Sorry about your stomach issues, that's no fun either!

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  14. Yes - that is a switch of mentality, but you will learn to enjoy it!

    I love all the extra bread and cuppicakes I am eating now and will be sad when endurance season is over LOL!

    The funny thing is, there is a point where exercise makes you hungrier - but then you reach a point of further time spent that your appetite actually decreases and it is hard to take in enough calories. Bodies are just weird.

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  15. Shocking though it may seem, this subject is way out of my area of expertise.

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  16. Wow. Not a problem I think I'll ever have. But you never know. Enjoy some pasta for me!

    What about good fats? Are you supposed to increase those too?

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  17. I hate Pepto! If I smell wintergreen anything it reminds me of Pepto and I want to hurl!

    Hope you are feeling better!

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  18. This is really funny. Not that you have a tummy ache, but the way you are talking about it, I have a big smile on my face, you're so funny. I know that stomach thing, I don't think I get it as bad as you, but I get it.
    My daughter had a stomach ache before the Bar Mitzvah on Saturday and I was force feeding her pepto because I didn't want to have to stay home. She was freaking because she hates taking meds. We happened to have the the tablets that look like pink mints so she was a bit interested and didn't mind them.
    What about a nutritionist?

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  19. Hi Shelley. When I first started running I was losing weight doing Medifast. Sometimes I would run and sometimes during, or after the run I would get an upset stomach. I didnt want to eat anything. Then it dawned on me...maybe I was not eating enough for all the calories I was burning? Sure enough, I went off Medifast because I really wanted to continue my running and when I upped my food intake the upset stomachs started going away. I dont know if this applies to you but thought I would mention it just in case it could help.

    Feel better.

    Jennifer

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  20. I don't know if you've ever tried the Go Lean Kashi protein bars. I think they're pretty yummy and as far as protein bars go, fairly low in fat and very saisfying. Their easy to get down too.

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  21. GOsh, I still struggle with the calories versus fueling my body. For now, with training and a marathon, calories and fueling go hand in hand. I'm going to worry about weight after November. You can't diet and expect to be strong and have endurance. I have usually bonked big time when I've tried to do this. These days, skinny doesn't mean much to me anymore. I prefer to think of myself as strong. lean and energetic and to be these things, I need to fuel my body intelligently!!

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  22. I think you should also check in with your doctor, just to make sure the stomach issues aren't anything else. And yes, it sounds like you are going to need to change your diet. Good luck, and I will be interested to see what kind of changes you make and how they impact you!

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  23. So funny you should talk about this. Though our circumstances are different, I was just talking to Chuck about how weird it is that my doctor told me that I needed to eat more. Before I went to him I was eating very little. No I'm eating 6 times a day!

    Your body does need fuel though. Think of it like a car. When you go on a long road trip it requires more gas than if you are just driving across town. Your body needs the fuel too or it crashes.

    What a great "problem" to have! :)

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  24. When I first started running (last year) I had a hard time with the 'empty calories' in my long-run snacks. I still try to limit each Gu or whatever to a 100 calorie item but I know I need fuel! :)

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