Don’t take my advice

(I have been glued to the television watching MSNBC on and off since about 6:45am on the “Terror in Boston”.  I need to get my mind off of this for a second and check out.)

While on my run this morning I had a very strong craving for diet Dr. Pepper and it dawned on me, I’m the worst person ever to receive health advice from because I certainly don’t follow much of my advice.  Today I’m going to let you in on some secrets of mine.  Let’s begin…

1. Fuel: Ha!  This one is almost laughable.  As I just mentioned, I drink soda after a 10.5 mile run.  I ran 10.5 miles this morning and as soon as I got home I helped myself to soda!  I don’t believe I’ve ever, in the history of reading health journals, articles and books, read that soda is a great source of hydration.  It’s bad for your bones, it’s bad for your teeth and it has dehydrating effects if anything.  I also eat cookies, brownies and/or ice cream for breakfast most days of the week.  While I have heard that sugar is a great source of energy, I don’t think the experts mean processed sugar!  A huge reason for my motivation to give up sweets for lent was so that I wouldn’t come home from a run and eat a 1/2 a pan of brownies for lunch.  Yes, I do this too.  I could pretty much sustain solely on sweet sugary foods for the rest of my life and be ok with it.

2. Injury: Oh my goodness, don’t even get me started on how I treat my body while injured.  I’m an idiot.  I feel a pain and almost always ignore it.  If it’s so incredibly painful to run then I do other forms of exercise.  Rest?  For the birds.  I know my injury will heal much MUCH quicker if I would just lay off and do nothing but for whatever reason my type A personality kicks in and resting is just not an option.  What is wrong with me?  Who says those things?  Who thinks those things?  I had an IT band injury for almost 3 years and ran almost every single day on it.  I sustained a stress fracture in my ankle and even that didn’t stop me from walking nearly 7 miles at a time every single day.  That injury alone prolonged my recovery by 4 months!  I was told to stay off of it and to only do bike or elliptical but did I listen?  Hell no!  Again, I’m not the person to ask for advice on injury recovery, clearly.

3. Cross training:  We’ve all heard it, cross train to prevent injuries.  I think it was a few years ago, I ran every single day for two months with no cross training and no days off.  I’ve had numerous people approach me at gyms after a treadmill run and say “I wouldn’t run so much if I were you.  You need to take care of those knees or you won’t be running past 50.”  And of course, I shrug my shoulders and say “Yeah, but I can do it today so why stop now?”  I have gotten better at loosening up a bit with my running schedule.  It has helped tremendously that I recently had a baby.  I had a tough time running through pregnancy so I was forced to find other forms of activity.  This was so good for me.  I got into cycling and weight lifting and kept my running to no more than twice a week for no more than 3 miles at a time.  I learned that I could still manage my weight gain and not run.  BUT as soon as I had Emmett I was back at it just 9 days postpartum.  I was not even close to being healed and again, I made my recovery time go from 6 weeks to nearly 10 weeks.  UGH.  Why won’t I listen to my freaking body!?

4. Exercise: I exercise WAY too much.  Part of that is my strong urge to keep my weight consistent and part of it is so that I can feel great about eating said sweets.  I overexercise and probably, to some psychologists, would be considered an exercisorexic, someone who exercises to excess to rid their bodies of calories.  I definitely have cut back on my exercise habit since getting married but at one point in my life it was bad.  I would do my morning run (usually 8-9 miles) and then come home and be starving.  I would eat myself out of house and home and feel so guilty about the massive amount of calories I consumed that I’d go on another run later in the day consisting of another 4-6 miles.  It was a vicious cycle and I’m so thankful that I don’t do this anymore.  It was a huge time commitment and was horrible for my body.  To cover up why I did this, I claim that I was training for another marathon.  Today, if I’ve already exercised, I come home, shower as quickly as possible and get dressed so that I’m not even tempted to exercise twice in the same day.

So there you have it, four areas you should never take my advice on.  I do know how to lose weight and keep it off, tips for how to motivate people to exercise, health behaviors and what you can do to stick to them, and a multitude of other topics that I love talking about.  I loosely follow my own advice sometimes and what I do works for me.

(Back to MSNBC)


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