March Running

Tomorrow is the first day of April. Where did the time go?! In about 6 weeks I will be done with graduate school and getting ready to get my diploma! Excuse me?! But how?? March was a month of accomplishments in my opinion, mostly on the running front. I am feeling really good right now and after a tough Spring Break I have been doing well with my tempos and (some of) my speeds.

In March I ran 151.44 miles! 

img_5884

I ran my farthest mileage to date. 15 miles -> 17 miles. To come this weekend: 18 miles.

Reaching 40 miles per week. I thought it would suck and some days it does because it's hard for me to feel energized and ready to run when I'm still in graduate school and working 16-24 hours a week. But once I get into my groove the runs usually feel great!

___________________

With that said here's an update on my relationship with mindful eating. I would say it's not going as well as I would like, but part of mindful eating is being curious and treating every eating opportunity as an experience. Some days I am better at listening to my hunger, but other days (usually when I am at work) I find myself eating snacks because I have a break or I know if I don't eat then I won't have another chance for a long while. What truly helps and what I have been slacking at immensely is setting the table and actually sitting down to enjoy a meal. I need to get back to doing that because it makes meals much more satisfying!

img_5468-1

Legalizing food is going great. I no longer feel tied to chocolate or maple syrup because I know it's there. Sure at first I wanted it every day and did have it every day. And sometimes I want to have more than just a little bit or a typical serving size and that's okay too.

My hunger is no longer as insatiable, but I do notice that I have been getting hungry later in the evening. Tonight around 9pm I was feeling a bit hungry (either that or I really just wanted some banana bread). I think that with my increased mileage I need to start having a consistent snack at night. I am going to make and freeze some banana bread this weekend because I can't get enough. I have some almonds, cocoa roasted almonds, pretzels, and popcorn in my pantry right now so those are options as well. I've never really been a huge post dinner snacker, usually just some dessert, but it may be helpful to get the calories and carbohydrates that my body needs. It's trial and error!

__________________

For a while in March I was feeling a bit off. I felt like my clothes weren't fitting well and that I was putting on some weight. BUT weight is not everything. I have been running a lot more and this can definitely impact my body weight and size. I've also been eating more and differently with the increase in activity and having more time to spend with my friends. My sister and I were also just talking about how we are in food funks. The weather has been terrible and the gloominess gives me no desire to cook and put effort into my meals. On the plus side I love having the time to go out with friends or hang in with friends. It's been so refreshing!

img_5762

I keep reminding myself that weight is not everything. Your body naturally changes with seasons, with age, with almost anything. When I run a faster speed or a longer distance I smile and love what my body can do. I think about my legs and how strong and great they are. And how my body has given me so many opportunities. It's been an amazing month of pushing my body to see what it's capable of. Body appreciation. But it's an everyday process and sometimes struggle because of the type of society that we live in.

Instead of focusing on my weight and how my clothes fit, I am going to continue to focus on fueling my body with foods that are nutritious and satisfying, but also with foods that may be less nutritious and just as satisfying. Some days I love whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and healthy fats (hello, have you seen my buddha bowls lately). Other days I just want slice after slice of banana bread, pizza, and french fries with a few drinks on the side. There's nothing wrong with that. Last night I had basil hard cider and crispy french fries! Like I have said before, food is about so much more than the nutrients. We eat food to connect to our culture, to connect to people, and to have an overall experience.

img_5888

March was a great month and I spent a good chunk with family. April brings new adventures (another trip to Boston, Julie coming to visit, a half marathon, research presentations, and basically the LAST MONTH of school!) It's so surreal and I plan to soak in as much of Vermont as I can before I move.

Body Appreciation

I've always struggled with body acceptance let alone body appreciation. But I feel that changing. Maybe it's because I am getting older. But I think it has more to do with truly appreciating all that I have been able to experience in the past year. I couldn't be where I am without my body and for that I am grateful. This past year during my dietetic internship I spent my days in rotations and my nights doing homework. Weekends were spent doing more homework, cleaning my apartment, cooking, and working. I rarely exercised and it took a toll on me mentally at first. Eventually I realized that this was not the time to beat myself up for not exercising and indulging a bit frequently. The internship gave me so much more than nutrition knowledge and professional experience.

I learned that my body is not perfect and that's okay. I love chocolate and wine and that's okay. Sometimes (...or a lot of the time) I want to sit on the couch and binge watch Gilmore Girls and that's okay. Sometimes I crave vegetables (bring on the brussels sprouts) and that's okay. Sometimes I run and sometimes I don't and that's okay. Life is about so much more than the number on the scale. It's about more than whether I exercise or not. It's about more than the number of squares of chocolate I eat or if I eat chocolate at all.

Julie gave me a bracelet for Christmas that says just breathe on it and I've been trying to breathe more, but also to just live more.

I accept my body because it's the body that has allowed me to work towards being a dietitian this past year. I accept my body because I would not be here without it.

In the past month I have started to move one step further and truly appreciate my body. Body appreciation means valuing what your body does for you. The whole living and breathing thing. The incredible biochemistry that goes on 24/7. The homeostasis. The growth. It's incredible. I attribute this new found appreciation to pushing my mind to the limit during my internship and pushing my body to the limit with marathon training.

Every new distance, every faster pace amazes me. It all started once I crushed my first tempo (maybe I should let me coach rate my tempos). I've also truly began to appreciate that what I eat is fuel for my body and yet eating because I am emotional is okay too. I am not the best intuitive or mindful eater and that's doesn't mean I won't be a good dietitian. Eating is cultural, primal, social, etc. It's so much and really, there's no perfect way to do it. No matter how I eat, the food will be digested and used by my body as energy.

I appreciate my body. I appreciate that I have the ability to run and that my body digests the food that I love. But most importantly I appreciate that I have had the opportunity to learn what I am capable of and to begin the road towards body appreciation. Without this body I wouldn't be this close to graduating with my masters in dietetics. I cry just thinking about the day...