I knew my speed and strength would increase once I lost more weight and after completing my first half marathon, I thought I'd do just that, lose weight! That simple! HAH! Not! I remained a steady weight plus or minus 5 lbs over the whole summer by not worrying about my weight, but once I hit the gym and started thinking I needed to 'deprive' myself, not only did I gain weight, but my entire mentality changed. I became rebellious with my eating, and between the and injury and the cold weather, my activity level declined steadily. The pounds started creeping back in, the work became harder...you see where I'm going with this?
I found a great article this morning written by Amy Reinink about disordered eating today which I will be sharing. One of the comments in it rang so true for me with my own personal experience over the last several months. It stated, 'The good news? There is hope. According to Otis, one of the best ways to combat disordered eating in female athletes is to “take weight out of the equation and focus solely on training for a sport.”' This was certainly true for me over the summer and applied right now as well. I did lose weight initially, but needed to move on to something that meant much more to me. Getting out of bed every Saturday morning to meet my new friends and go for the group runs just became a way of life. It wasn't even something I thought about or questioned, it was just something that needed to be done. It really worked for me.
And while I most certainly am not advocating that you go out and buy a box of Hostess Cupcakes and eat them all in one sitting, I am saying that maybe if we lighten up on ourselves a little and do as the article suggests, train with a specific goal in mind, we might not be so rebellious. It is still important to make good choices, try to choose whole foods over processed foods as much as possible, don't try to consume a 2,000 calorie meal three times a day, stuff like that! But it is okay to still have a life and maybe pick one night a week where you allow yourself that one special treat. Knowing it's coming, knowing you are allowed to have it gives you something special to look forward to and should remove the mentality of thinking you're having everything taken away from you.
So, I have signed up for the next training series and re-joined my running group for the upcoming year and have registered for a half marathon in May. This is a shorter long term goal for me, but I also need a jolt right now to get me up off my butt and out of my funk. Something I can be proud of and something to spur me onward and upward. I will be running a 5k that I know several of my friends will be running tomorrow morning. I'm not terribly thrilled at the prospect of getting out there early in the dark and cold, but I am thrilled at the idea of having completed it and how awesome I will feel afterward!
As 'I <3 To Run' so succinctly puts it, 'Lace up...You're only one run away from a good mood.'
Disordered Eating article link: http://www.womensrunning.com/articles/140-disordered-eating