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Yesterday at volleyball someone on the opposing team missed a pass and blamed it on being 38. She said when she got to 40 it would be all over.  One of the women on my team happens to be 50, so as you can imagine remarks began coming in from all over the place all in good fun.  The 38 year old said that she really thought it was great that we were all out there still playing, and hoped we all would still be out there together when we are old and gray. This got me thinking even more since it was a subject that already has been on my mind.  What’s my end game?

When you think about your ultimate goal it changes your perspective.  I have been playing on this particular volleyball league for 18 years already! I started it after my college career ended and have been playing ever since. I want to be one of those old, gray haired ladies out on the court!

In physical therapy (almost a year ago) I saw tons of people  that had lost mobility in some way or another.  Some were the result of accidents or other issues,  but most of them just could not function the way they wanted to.  I saw two main things:  loss of strength and flexibility.  Sure this is common knowledge, health “officials”  tell you that this will happen so you need to do X,Y, and Z in order to combat ageing, but I saw it in a very real situation.  I can also see it in my parents. When you see people struggling to do every day tasks it brings home the message.

Prior to this volleyball game it was something I had been thinking about for a while; I might need to change up my training.  Extreme workouts are not for me anymore.  I saw very small, isolated movements that produced strength enough to change function. If I want to be on the court or running a race when I am much, much older I need to train for that.  Exercise for me was mostly about calorie burning in the past.  Now I try to think of it in terms of sustainability.

I am not lying down. I still run, do organized sports, yoga, and strength train, but I do them in a way to help my body with strength and endurance and not wear it out.  In my 20’s I never stretched. Now I devote part of my workout time for it.  It is so, so important.  Things change as you get older.  I wish I could go back and talk to my younger self, but she probably would not have listened anyway.

So what’s your end game?

Since working on my intuitive eating, I sometimes question my workout mode.  I have problems with anxiety.  I think it is one of my main triggers for overeating (that and doing things I don’t want to do as a close second). A good workout helps with anxiety for me.

I struggle with what a normal workout is. If you pay attention to any health and fitness news you will see that the popular workouts that are out there are pretty extreme. I know, I used to partake in them all, so my views of normal exercise are somewhat skewed at times.

I have always admired a former athlete.  She retired from professional sports a while back but still puts herself out there now and then.  She is always committed to health and fitness, or is she?

I have read that she will workout for two to five hours a day.  Is this disordered? It was a shock to me. Am I admiring a person that abuses exercise? I know everyone’s fitness level will vary.  Maybe this type of commitment is just normal exercise for her and would be too much for me?

I guess why I wonder is because I have decided to up my game.  I am training for an up coming running race (I know me and every other blogger out there).  I am not telling you this for yay me, look how virtuous I am etc. I just felt like I needed the challenge and peace of mind it can bring for me.

I was getting a bit bored with my normal workout routine and the thought of this race really excited me.  After having gone through physical therapy almost a year ago (due to a muscle imbalance exaggerated during pregnancy) I feel like I am ready.

My daughter has recently started school.  I am not the most social creature. I think I could (I know I could) be defined as an introvert.  Her entrance into school brings all sorts of anxiety for me.  I am not worried about her in this department, she does great, its me.  I have to go to birthday parties, school functions, and help out in the classroom.  These are all fun things that I enjoy when I am doing them, but they do bring on anxiety big time for me.  Running helps me manage it a bit.

I don’t want to trade one disorder for another.  I think as long as you are excited and happy to do something (not feel like you have to), can take days off when needed (sick, injured, etc), and don’t feel exhausted afterward it is okay.

Is my fitness idol disordered? I guess she can only answer that. I have to remember it’s all about me.  No comparisons. Which brings me to another small thought.

On my idols website she has a guest post about a woman that lost weight and gives her “secrets” about weight loss. One of the points was to find friends or surround yourself with people that are thinner than you. Really?! How awful! First of all you don’t know how they got thin or remain thin.  They could have a major eating disorder, and you are admiring them for it and basing your friendship on their appearance!

So maybe I should not admire my former role model. That hurts.  It goes way back to the mid 90’s, but I do like my new perspective.

Keep your filters on people, don’t buy in to all the diet/crazy exercise hype. Just keep it light and fun for you.

Have a good one 🙂

Most of my adult years were spent counting calories and obsessing over my weight and looks.  I am not sure where it all started. Only that I know it is not something I wish upon my daughter at all.  I know what kind of a hell it can be.

Back to the calorie counting.  I always ate the portions that I thought I should eat.  I would eat an ounce of nuts, a cup of pasta, etc. Regardless of how I felt afterward.  I remember leaving restaurants still hungry with a carryout box and thinking but I ate normal portions!  Some days you need more food than others.  You need to eat to the point of fullness and satisfaction.  Not gut busting full, but satisfied.  This might require more food one day than another and that’s okay (or two days or three, etc).

I am not saying I never indulge.  I do, but there is always a stopping point now.  I always told my husband that something was wrong with (in my twenties) me because I had no “shut off”.  I felt like I simply did not know when enough was enough while my husband always did. Now looking back on it, I understand why it was always feast of famine with me.  My body did not know I had a house full of food or options of restaurants on every street corner, it only thought it was starving.  It figured that it better load up while the getting was good.

It took some time for my body to trust that it was going to get what it needed from me.  Now when I enjoy extra desert or some candy, there is always a stopping point.  I get to a place where I can honestly say I am finished.  In years past if I decided to eat treats of any kind I would do it in overload, feel sick, recover, and do it again (sometimes a few repeats a night).

When I do overeat now I don’t see it as a bad thing (it took two years for that). It means that I am not giving my body what it needs.  It can mean a whole host of things: anxiety (big one for me), stress, tired, lonely, not enough down time,  rest, or food, etc.  I see it as a warning sign that something is off , and I try to work on that. I also know that I will not eat like this for the rest of my week, life, or whatever black and white situation I used to think it would lead to.  It is temporary.

Things are not forever and can change.  I also had absolutist thinking.  I thought if one action occurred than it would lead to X, Y, Z. Not the case.  I try to think in shades of gray now.

So last time I wrote of a friend that was going to a hospital for help with weight loss.  She went and they gave her a shake and bar diet.  Every week we got an update:  I lost 10 pounds total, I lost 12 pounds total.  Well last Wednesday she told our volleyball team she was done with it.

I did not ask about it, but I know what the problem was.  You can follow someone else’s regimen for only so long.  You are an individual and your needs are entirely different.  Your taste preferences, ratios of carbohydrates to fats to protein will vary from person to person.  It is entirely NOT her fault she could not stick to it.  I am sure she feels guilt ridden.  So her next venture: a running program.  

There in lies the problem. With diets there is always the next one.  If one didn’t work, lets go to the next! In fact, suggestions came flying up in response to her defeated announcement.  The 30 Day Cleanse was recommended.  What happens after 30 days? If dieting just gets too hard, people think they can just exercise their brains out and all will be cured.

Why is is so ingrained in our society that dieting is the norm? I understand we in America have an obesity problem.  Why are we not taught moderation (another subject for another post)?

I have a five year old daughter, and I hate it when she is around adults (kid friendly parties and such) because the subject of peoples eating, dieting, and fat always comes up. I am trying to bring her up in a world that sets you up to fail at a healthy diet.  She is the most intuitive eater, has a perfectly healthy weight and relationship with food, and I am trying my hardest to preserve that.  

Just listen at a party, the supermarket, or in a restaraunt and you will hear what I mean.  At a schoolmate of my daughters birthday party, cake and pizza were being served. When offered a parent said “No, we don’t want fat. The holidays are coming and we are trying to take weight off too.  We are getting back to the gym.” Seriously where are peoples manners?  A polite “No thank you.” would be sufficient. Kids are hearing this! Do people not get that childhood eating disorders are on the rise?

I am in no way making fun of my friend for her pursuit of weight-loss.  I am just observing that diets don’t work. Intuitive eating tells you that, and I am seeing it in real life and this is one example I have seen recently.  

So wrapping it up, shakes and bars are done as I suspected, and can people please, please keep their diet and fat talk to themselves?


Hello to you!

Recently a friend of mine told me how she was going to go to a well-known hospital for help with weight loss. She was going on a diet plan with a registered dietician.  She has 70 pounds to lose and the program has you eating 5-6 bars a day along with shakes.

When she eats these products she feels no hunger which is good (you should eat when you are hungry). Then she tells me she was bad this day (proceeds to tell me what she ate) and that day.  On the days that she “cheated” they were reasonable amounts of food to me.  A small piece of a little cake (seriously the whole cake no bigger than the size of your hand) for her son’s birthday and  a few chips here and there.  These are all normal things, in normal proportions, in normal settings, that normal people eat.  The diet makes you think that you are bad for eating them! She even thinks she is doing something wrong when she is sneaking in a piece of fresh fruit to spice up her diet shakes. I despise diets.

My friends don’t know about me and my intuitive eating (which by the way is on autopilot, much different from when I started two years ago). I want to tell people about it, but without solicited advice, I never do.

If you think you could help someone, do you bring it up?

It’s been close to two years since I have started my Intuitive Eating venture. Funny, that I say I started it, when IE is something that you are innately born with. From years of dieting the signals get suppressed. I can hear them now. They guide me.  

I have had ups and downs. The downs are caused when I don’t listen to my signals.  Go with your instincts. It will not lead you to a one-way path of junk food. Honestly, I crave veggies, fruit, and whole grains too. 

Have you ever wanted a certain food item, but because of self imposed food rules (from all sorts of influences) you decide that the food you want is not virtuous so you avoid it? You suppress it, try to eat other things and they don’t satisfy. When you do give in to the forbidden food…bad things happen.  Overindulgence, binge even. You think I can’t be trusted around this food. See here is proof!

Save yourself from all of that and just eat the cookie (or PB, or whatever it is you crave).  



What is healthy living?

To me its a balance of everything.

People I have admired have a fantastic physique but is achieving it by working out 2-5 hours a day, six days a week healthy?

If they are a retired athlete and they still keep it all up is that still healthy?

I ask because I wonder how much is too much.  If I worked out 2-5 hours a day for six days a week my family would think I had a problem, but if a retired athlete does it its ok?

I have had problems with my IT band for a very long time (four years and counting).  I did see someone about it two years ago without any results. I am seeing a new physical therapist (I wish I had done this years ago!).  He has determined that yes I do have a tight IT band, but it’s not from overuse like I thought.

It’s due to a weak glute on my left side which causes the IT band to do all the work.  My leg on that side does not fully extend either so its like I am walking in a squat position on the left side eternally.  Things would get sore! It’s also creating patellar tracking issues.  When I walk I look completely normal! It’s just slight enough to cause problems.  He said I have probably had this for a very long time and pregnancy just brought it out (extra weight, carrying a baby and toddler on that side etc.)

With strengthening and stretching it should get back to normal.  He thinks there is no reason why I should not be able to run once everything is worked out.

So it all makes me wonder.  I have been very limited with what I have been able to do for exercise for the last year.  I thought my issues were due to over use. It’s not.  When I am all healed I still want to have balance.  I have worked very hard to get to where I am with intuitive eating. Is running a marathon ok? Do people who run marathons abuse exercise?

I just think its funny how a ton of exercise for some people (famous fitness gurus) makes them seem noble, and for others  (the rest of us) they are seen as disordered.

Where do you draw the line?