Archive | November, 2013

Being a little bit disorderly about food

15 Nov

I do not think I have an eating disorder, but I am pretty sure that what often happens in my head before, during, and after I eat is disordered. Not uncommon but definitely messed up.

Take today, for example. I ate my usual breakfast of oatmeal, peanut butter, and almond/coconut milk, and today I added a little square of Godiva dark chocolate that I received yesterday as a gift. For lunch, at about 12:30, I had a bowl of homemade turkey chili and most of a huge apple. I was satisfied if not slightly full.

Around 3 p.m. I got a headache. I was bored and feeling anxious about anything and everything. I wanted a snack but I didn’t want to have anything with gluten or sugar. I was fantasizing a bit about the pumpkin latte they have at the cafe a few doors down, but I knew I would feel bad about drinking all those calories. I went through the other options they serve:
Soup – already had some
Salad – having it for Dianne
Sandwich – gluten!
Cookies, pastries, bagels – no, no, no

I went around and around in my head. I didn’t NEED anything. I didn’t even really WANT anything except for my headache to go away.

I went to the cafeteria not at all sure what I was going to choose. I stepped to the counter and blurted out the first thing that came to my mind. “I’ll have a chocolate cupcake please. And a cup of coffee. To go. And a fork.”

I returned to work and ate all but the last two bites of that cupcake in less than five minutes. I felt sick to my stomach. I felt ugly and fat and disgusting. I wanted to throw up, but I did not. I ate that thing and I didn’t really want it. I don’t even like chocolate!

I go through episodes like this almost every day. I tell myself that I don’t actually want cookies, potato chips, pizza, and chicken wings; I want love. I want to feel useful and be productive. I want to be full of joy and free from worry. I want a rocking hot body without stretch marks or cellulite or unwanted hair.

Nobody should devote as much mental energy to food choices or subject themselves to the agony that I do when I eat. Eating should be fun, or at least not dramatic and painful. It should just be…eating.

I’ve read books written by and for people like me. I’m a recovered/recovering alcoholic, so I know about addiction and admitting your powerlessness and surrendering, and I know that works. I know there is a meeting I could attend. And I think maybe–just maybe–I could calm the f**k down and get over it.

But most of the time when I’m at home I take off my bra and put on my pajamas so I won’t be tempted to drive to the grocery store and I torture myself thinking about food until it’s time to go to sleep. Not every day but many days. Too many days.

“Uffda!” we say in Minnesota. If only I could eat whatever I want without getting fat, my life would be perfect.

Just kidding.


Being a jiggly runner

12 Nov

This morning, a public figure who is somewhat well known in the running world posted a message in social media saying (paraphrased): if you jump up and down in front of a mirror and parts of you jiggle, you need to run a few more miles.

You can imagine the feedback that ensued. I posted a comment, which I rarely do, saying I’ve trained for six marathons and parts of me still jiggle. And I’m damn proud of that.

When I first started running more than four years ago, I weighed nearly 200 pounds. I felt very insecure about exercising in public, and I am sure that to some of the other runners I encountered I looked like I was about to die when I was struggling through my 2.6 mile daily jog. All runners are dedicated, at least to a certain extent, but those of us who started out in the “Clydesdale” or “Athena” categories–or remain there–know that it takes just a tiny bit of extra courage to run alongside the skinny runners when you aren’t so svelte. When I’m out on the trails or running a race and I see a runner who is not skinny, I always give them a smile or a wink or a word of encouragement because I know what it is like to feel like everyone is watching your fat butt and thinking you should have stayed home with your comfort food and stretchy pants.

As an aspiring personal fitness trainer, I felt disappointed by this person’s comment. Though it goes without saying, shaming people about their bodies is no way to motivate them…unless you’re sadistic, or masochistic (which one is correct?) but then you might have bigger problems.

Today I am a marathon runner, and I’m still overweight, and parts of me still jiggle. I’m really proud of all I’ve accomplished and will continue to accomplish despite the fact that I carry a little extra fuel in my lower body than some runners do. That’s more of me to love and to cheer for when I cross the finish line.

Keep running, all you jiggly people! Shake those booties with pride!