A funny thing happened on the way to the half marathon.

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I’m working on it! Source

Remember when I said I was going to train to run the SurfTown Half Marathon?  Yeah, I’m still nuts enough to think I might actually be able to do it.  Focusing on this ridiculous outlandish big goal has done exactly what I wanted it to do, it has helped me focus on what health goals are truly important to me.  Some other time I’ll tell you the story about how I’m a former disordered eater, former lifetime Weight Watcher (I even worked for them), and my struggles with maintaining a healthy weight.  But like I said, that ‘s a story for another time.  Although, my previous experiences inform my current ones and I will always be someone who stupidly thinks that my opinion of my body is based on a number on a scale.  I know this isn’t true, but I fight this often.

So in my on-going fight against the mind f*ck that is the scale I added a few new weapons.  The first was deciding to train for the Half Marathon.  I knew that if I could train for something that big then it didn’t matter what size I was, I had proof that I was strong and healthy, despite the number on the scale.  Training has been going well and I am amazed at how my stamina has increased in a short period of time.  I’m still along way off of the 13.1 mile goal, but I can see it.  I’m committed and motivated, which are the two big things you need when you focus on a goal.

The second weapon was a 10-Day Detox.  I consider myself a fairly healthy eater.  We eat mostly whole foods, we have a very plant-based diet, and we don’t eat a lot of processed food.  Even so, I found myself slipping into bad habits of multiple cups of coffee per day, candy bars as afternoon snacks, and general unawareness of what I was putting in my body.  I knew I needed a shake up.  A friend of Honey’s told me that she was doing a 10-Day Detox diet and I was kind of intrigued.  10 days seemed perfectly manageable, unlike Whole30.  Also, I tailored this detox to the foods I knew I needed to focus on, rather than the cookie cutter Whole30 that eliminates a lot of foods that are staples in my diet and I know do not have a negative impact on my body, like legumes.  My plan was to eliminate 3 things from my diet: caffeine, dairy, and sugar and significantly reduce my consumption of grains and processed foods.  Mind you, I’m a coffee and chocolate whore.  I indulge in both these things on a daily basis.  I knew giving up these would be hard.  Very hard.  I wasn’t so worried about the dairy because I was largely dairy free already.

Today is my last day of the 10.  So how’d I do?  You all want to know if I lost weight.  I did.  Not a substantial amount, but enough to make me feel my “sacrifice” was justified.  You want to know if it was hard.  Not nearly as hard as I thought.  Days one and two sucked, no lie.  Day one every time I thought of something to eat I realized I couldn’t eat it.  Day two the headache, fatigue, and shall we say digestive changes set in.  Each day after that got progressively easier.  I realized I needed to drink a ton more water than I was.  Now I drink probably 128 ounces of water per day, when previously I was probably barely getting 40.  Except that water gets dreadfully boring when it’s all you drink so I supplemented with seltzer or by adding lemon to my water.  I also realized I needed to eat tons more protein than I did before.  For me, this helped with the energy level especially on days I ran.  I worried that through the process I was going to turn into a cranky b@tch, but I noticed that my overall mood actually improved. I was also really proud of myself for staying the course even though I went to a 40th birthday party where the wine and cocktails were flowing.  I stuck to my water and seltzer and still had a great time.

So, will I stick with these changes?  The short answer is sorta.  I surprisingly don’t miss dairy.  For me it’s a tipping point thing.  Without it, I’m fine but one piece of weak-moment cheese and I’m craving ice cream, cream cheese, and yogurt like I’m a prisoner in the SHU in need of a phone call. (Pardon my Orange is the New Black reference.)  Sugar, will stay something I have in very careful moderation.  I learned that when I’m craving chocolate I’m actually craving something creamy (which can be replaced with an avocado or a banana) and when I’m craving a sugary snack fresh berries are a great substitute (thank god it’s berry season!)  I can see the sugar party getting out of hand pretty quickly too.  My goal will be to limit sugar to once per week, like a cheat day, without going all out.  We’ll see how that goes.  Lastly, my dear friend caffeine.  I’m not gonna lie, I miss coffee.  But I don’t miss it in the morning so much now that I’m working out regularly in the morning.  I miss the habit of coffee.  So I might not go back to AM joe while I’m home for summer but will start back up when I head back to work.  I do look forward to enjoying an afternoon ice coffee (with coconut milk) in the near future.

That’s what worked for me.  For now.  Like all things I’m a work in progress but focusing on a long-range goal with the help of a short-range one has helped me realize the true goal is overall health, not a number on a scale.

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4 thoughts on “A funny thing happened on the way to the half marathon.

    1. The sugar cravings did decrease for sure. The first two days were rough but it got better from there. My sugar intake has decreased SIGNIFICANTLY as a result.

  1. This is SO fantastic!! Congrats to you Cora. How wonderful that you discovered some things about yourself through this process. I’m also relieved for you that the withdrawal only lasted a few days. Can’t wait to continue to hear about how your dietary changes and half marathon training go. Rock on!!

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