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Hamster Wheel

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I feel like a gerbil lately… going around and around in the giant wheel of binge eat/exercise/binge eat/exercise.

The middle of summer means I pretty much do all of my running in the gym. Not that I dislike the treadmill – in fact, I enjoy having air conditioning, television, bathrooms, and water easily accessible. But it is getting old. I have struggled with my running the past few days – and while there’s been a few knee twinges (inflammation from wheat, perhaps) and some calf soreness (from a particularly grueling personal training session on Saturday), I think it’s largely mental. I start getting negative with myself:

- I’m never going to win a half-marathon, so what’s the point?
- I’m most likely going to binge eat away all the calories I’ve burned.
- I’m just going to have to get back on the treadmill again tomorrow.

Doesn’t sound like I’m having much fun, does it?

It’s because I know the solution to my problem isn’t MORE exercise. (Look at this recent research which shows we’re all exercising more, but not losing weight: www.latimes.com/news/pol
itics/la-pn-americans-exer
cise-not-losing-weight-201
30709,0,1516487.story
.) It’s eating LESS wheat. And sugar. And who knows what else that keeps fueling my food addiction. I’ve been slowly getting through Wheat Belly – it’s a tough read. Dr. Davis makes a solid attempt at transforming medical jargon into plain English, but still… it’s a lot to process. I thought that once I had a handle on the health and wellness claims of the Wheat Belly way, I’d instantly transform, but my food addiction is still too strong.

Sometimes I think the solution is to back off from training. Back when I was reading The Hunger Fix ( wp.me/p1N36Q-6R ), I remember Dr. Peeke suggested easing into exercise. Half-marathon training certainly is the opposite of that. There’s additional support for taking it easy shared by Eating Disorders Online ( www.eatingdisordersonlin
e.com/lifestyle/recovery/t
each-yourself-how-to-exerc
ise-healthily-during-recovery
):

“Many people who suffer from eating disorders abuse exercise as a method for weight loss and turn it into a form of self-punishment. Ignoring your body’s signals of pain and fatigue can be unhealthy, and it can perpetuate other unhealthy habits like yo-yo dieting and binge eating.”

But… I really do want to smash my 13.1 mile record at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon ( wp.me/p1N36Q-1c ).

So life will continue to revolve around obsessing over what I’m eating and sticking with this half-marathon training plan. The longer I keep eating wheat and carbs, the longer it’s going to take for my body to adjust to burning fat instead of burning sugar. I’ve already experienced the slow-down that comes with change in diet a few times ( wp.me/p1N36Q-3t ) – and we’re just about at the three month out mark from Disney. If I’m going to commit to being Wheat Free, I need to do it now.

And I need to find some positive thoughts to fuel these runs.

- It won’t always be this hot – at some point before Disney I’ll be able to take my run back outside.
- Running isn’t just about weight management – exercise also helps with anxiety management ( well.blogs.nytimes.com/2
013/07/03/how-exercise-can
-calm-anxiety/?src=me
).
- Seeing some physical results and improvements in my speed will help build momentum. I need to make food choices accordingly.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CHANGETHEGARDS
    You've got some big goals right now, but they only way to achieve them is one little step at a time.
    Keep following the advice you got through counseling, and keep moving forward! As one of the DJs on my morning radio show says, as long as you are moving forward, you are still in the race.
    Just don't stop!
    1410 days ago
  • SUNNYRUTH
    I completely agree with exercising to alleviate anxiety. You're doing all the right things and being thoughtful. Keep trying, you can do it!

    Great research, by the way.
    1410 days ago
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