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Identifying Triggers

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Good eating day, number two of this streak, is now accomplished and recognized with a sticker on my calendar, strategically placed at the entrance to my kitchen. This morning the scale showed me down more than I had anticipated to 128.6, just 2.6 pounds over my goal weight, and just a pound over where I was a week ago. So my several days of indulgence didn't end up being as hurtful as I feared, but it still is a pattern of behavior I want to replace with sanity, moderation, and good nutrition at all times.

What happened? What triggered me? Why did I fall off the wagon? The last week in April I was training with a running coach. I had just run a 5K PR of 27:33 and was feeling fast and fit. Then I pulled or strained something in the left glute area probably running too many hills without gradually building up to it. I took off several days, with ice and foam roller, then cut back my running from 4 days a week to 3 days a week and didn't run faster than 10:30 minute miles, when I had been doing 8:30 minute pace repeats. I ran the May 11th 5K in 29:02, which was okay but not as good as I would have done had I been able to complete my training plan. I planned to take off 3 weeks from running in order to heal then, although I'd been warned that it could take several months whether I ran or not to totally heal.

On May 13th I went back to my old employer to help in an urgent situation and worked (volunteer) an 8 hour day. On one of my walking breaks I tripped and re-injured my glute area. This second injury seemed worse than the initial problem. A week later it wasn't much better. Then, for no apparent reason, my left shoulder and pec area started really hurting. My glute was an annoying inconvenience keeping me from running well, but my shoulder hurt all the time, especially when trying to get to sleep. Aspirin or Alleve made very little difference in my pain level. I tried to remain somewhat active, swimming and walking but there was pain and I wasn't burning near as many calories, and I failed to change my calorie range. And when I'm not active I want to eat more. I felt sorry for myself and allowed myself to over indulge.

I have previously identified being tired as a definite trigger for me. I need to be extra careful when I'm tired to eat smart. If I don't plan meals any other time, it is crucial to pre-plan my food when I am tired. Pain is another trigger I have now identified. I need to find comfort in things other than food, and learn to cope with pain and setbacks without weighing myself down with unnecessary food.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon job on figuring out you need to cut back for a bit and rest up completely. The sore shoulder is most likely something from the swimming it sounds like to me as well. hope it isn't rotator cuff ouch. emoticon
    1731 days ago
    You are so wise to figure out your triggers. Good job!
    1732 days ago
    It's great, Marsha, that you've figured out triggers, and know what to do to counter them. Hang in there - you're doing emoticon
    1732 days ago
  • _LINDA
    As someone who has dealt with pain and 'injury' issues most of my life, its not the pain that is the problem. Its the frustration of what its keeping you from. Limiting what you are able to do. Keeping you from getting to a goal or being able to do something. What is needed is to accept your current reality for as long as it lasts, doing all that you can (seeing a Dr., physiotherapist, etc.) to help you get through it. In the meantime, you need to channel that frustration, that blockage, into something positive that you CAN do. When the physical is blocked, there is always the mental. Searching out and creating the most healthy recipes that you can find. Accurate tracking of all you eat, right after you have eaten it, to ensure you know where you are in calories near the end of the day so you can be careful not to exceed your limit. Putting your mind to work on things other than food. Playing mind bender games online, reading a good book. Sometimes you just have to let the body heal. Your Dr. is the one to tell you what is wrong and what you can do about it. Don't delay in seeking help. This is just a bump in the road for you. You will heal and get back to where you were. Just be a patient patient.
    You can get through this!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1732 days ago
    I understand! It's so hard to be injured and it does affect you mentally, as well as physically. I was in a funk for a while after being injured, re-injured, and it took me a while to feel ok.

    Take care of yourself and remind yourself that you'll be better soon.

    Good that you were able to identify those triggers. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1733 days ago
    Being tired is a huge trigger for me too! I hope you will be feeling more like your regular self soon. Take care of you!
    1733 days ago
  • GABY1948
    Oh, Marsha! You are doing so well...JUST like I knew you would! Your triggers much be so common to us because you hit the nail on the head for me for sure!
    I knew you would be back to "normal" just needed to regroup and get off the merry-go-round before it started really turning! You are such an inspiration to so many of us and that is not in vain!

    Have a great holiday, dear friend!
    1733 days ago
  • MIRAGE727
    I'm always reminded, by one of our coaches, about too much, too fast. Because of her running prowess, which I totally respect, I've insured that I am performing properly in all areas of my running. I also keep vigilance on those triggers and act quickly on them. Stay focused, and remember the journey has a delicate balance to it, Marsha!
    1733 days ago
    It is good to read about how you are looking at things and figuring out the "why" of what happens. You really sound like you know what to do and it's a matter of follow through. But I think you got this and can do it! I love that you are doing the stickers and keeping them visible in the kitchen. Good reminder of your goals.
    It won't be long until you are back at goal. So good you "caught" yourself before it got out of control.
    Have a terrific Sunday.
    1733 days ago
    emoticon I love how tuned in you are to your body and your triggers. Keep up the good work and hope it won't be long until you're 100% again. *hugs* BB~ emoticon
    1733 days ago
  • OWL_20
    I know this is a difficult time, yet you still did really good at identifying those triggers to poor eating habits. Way to go! I know being tired is one of mine, too. Take care and emoticon
    1733 days ago
    I have discovered that I need to foam roll my arms, neck and shoulders, not just my lower body. Even if I'm not aware of pain, I carry a lot of tension there, especially when I'm tired - a low level ache that was affecting me more than I realized and (I now realize) was affecting the quality of my sleep. Foam rolling the upper body is incredibly relaxing for me. I now do it regularly in the evening before bed and often before a run.
    1733 days ago
  • -AMANDA79-
    I recently strained my shoulder and figured it had to be from swimming. I know it stinks, but you might think about taking a break from it too.

    You will be good as new before you know it!
    1733 days ago
    When I'm sleep deprived I'm dangerous to myself and others. I eat too much, I'm irritable, I'm impatient, and I hurt myself. It's great that your are able to go back and think about your triggers so that you can help yourself through with kindness next time. I hope you get lots of rest and keep feeling great. And great job being so on track!
    1733 days ago
    1733 days ago
    I also find that less activity leads to wanting to eat MORE! I depend on my activity level to keep my appetite in check. Pain and fatigue grab my attention away from controlling my eating. Thanks for the new things to think about and plan for.
    1733 days ago
    I'm pulling for you! emoticon
    1733 days ago
    For me, fatigue lessens the vigilance required to stay on plan, and pain leads to boredom, boredom being the trigger. I have developed the habit of not eating between meals, so that is now the default instinct. I know that "experts" say we are supposed to eat small amounts throughout the day and monitor how we feel, but those things require constant vigilance, the very thing that fails when tired. Extreme as it sounds to modern ears, not eating between meals, in the end, makes it easier for me.
    1733 days ago
    Fatigue and pain . . . great to identify those triggers: and they are triggers for me too. As you say, gotta find other ways of comforting myself.
    1733 days ago
    Brought back memories of childhood: "Eat something and you'll feel better." Even though I know that's not the answer, I have to fight through it. Sometimes I'm more successful than others. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired are recognized triggers, a warning to HALT, and make a plan. You never give up Marsha, so you will be fine!
    1733 days ago
  • ANDI571
    A couple of months ago, I was really exercising and trying to get back in shape. I over did it and started hurting in my hips. I just quit. Pain, and being tired is definitely big triggers for me also. Keep fighting! emoticon
    1733 days ago
    I hope you can identify when your best times for exercising are. It's sometimes hard to hold yourself back when you're injured.
    1733 days ago
    Injury and pain are definitely tough to deal with! I think many of us have very similar triggers... so, thanks for the blog! Lifestyle changes are just that, changes. We need to learn and relearn how to deal with life and its changes.

    I hope you feel better soon! You may need to go to the doctor to see about that shoulder. My oldest had a shoulder injury and it gets worse if you try to ignore it. Take care of yourself and emoticon .
    1733 days ago
    Great that you know what triggers you being tired I do beleive gets most of us. Be careful with that injury you don't want ot reinjure it
    1733 days ago
    Marsha, so sorry about your pain! Sending healing vibes your way!
    1733 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Being tired and in pain can also be triggers for me to go off plan. Hope you heal quickly and get some rest. Good for you identifying your triggers so you can find ways to deal with them. emoticon

    1733 days ago
    It's great that you know yourself so well Marsha, tiredness does it for me too! emoticon
    1733 days ago
    Yours is the second blog I've read this morning that was meaningful in identifying things that tend to make us stray from program. For me, add in illness in general to injury, but it fits in with the pain profile!

    Yep, today (allergy nasties) will be a "take extra care" day here, too!

    1733 days ago
    It is difficult to deal with injury and pain without some sort of comfort-from pain pills to food. Finding the balance and acknowledging your triggers gets you one step closer to recovery.
    1733 days ago
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