A Few More Words on Food and Also Running Because I Don’t Know Who I Am Anymore

After about a week of reintroducing non-whole30 foods back into our diets, it became clear that a.) certain foods definitely trigger feelings of UGH I FEEL AWFUL and b.) we could maintain the weight loss but would not reach our ultimate goals if we were “good” during the week and then went crazy on the weekends. So, we’re on Day 2, again. Obviously we spent the weekend “clearing out the alcohol” in the house in preparation. It’s also obvious that of the 15 pounds I lost, about 10 of it came straight from my boobs. (Hi, Dad!)

In addition to realizing I may never eat pizza again (bread: why you gotta make me feel like garbage?) I’ve been having a hard time reconciling some negative feelings about running. For the longest time I’ve been saying my ultimate goal is to run a half marathon (ideally before I turn 40, which means that would need to happen this year), and now that I’m training for a 10k, I’m not so sure that goal interests me any longer. As someone who struggles a lot with guilt over “quitting” I did some serious thinking about what was going on here, and it wasn’t the extra work that would be involved, or intimidation over the effort required. I’m simply not enjoying the activity itself. And that added another layer of guilt: not everything in life is enjoyable, right? So now I had “don’t be a quitter” and “you can’t expect to have fun all the time” running through my head (with a little bit of “you’ve been telling people you want to do this and you’ll look dumb if you don’t” thrown in).

But here’s the thing: I run because I enjoy it. It’s purely a fun hobby. Sure, I set some goals and run races but at the core of it all is my enjoyment of it. And if that is lacking, why push myself to do more of it? If my mom told me she wasn’t enjoying quilting much right now, would I push her to sign up for more workshops and buy more materials and patterns and judge her for taking a break (or at least finishing her existing project but not necessarily lining up another one)? Of course not. So why so much pressure? Am I not enjoying it because I feel pressure to be hitting certain goals? Do I need to switch up my routine so it doesn’t feel like an obligation? I’m honestly not sure. But I do know I’d like to find my way back to enjoyment, and part of that is because I know I’m at my best when I’m spending time outdoors and taking care of my body; running has fed that need. Maybe it’s time to find other ways to do that. Not that I have to abandon running altogether, but maybe not assign so much importance to it as A Thing I Do or as part of my identity.

Please note that the irony that I am writing about nutrition and exercise given my fondness for pizza and Taco Bell is not lost on me.



3 thoughts on “A Few More Words on Food and Also Running Because I Don’t Know Who I Am Anymore

  1. If it makes you feel any better — and i’m sure it doesn’t 🙂 — I abandoned my annual triathlon torture for the same reason: I just don’t enjoy it, specifically the bike ride. I tried to like it (’cause bikes are cool), but the truth is that I hated every second I was being violated by that narrow seat. What I really liked was when the whole thing was over. So, done and no regrets. Now I do a boot camp that forces me to do lots of things I hate. But at least they’re different each day.

    • Oh yeah, people are always trying to get me to sign up for those things and I take a HARD PASS because I’d probably drown or crash the bike. Running in a straight line is about as coordinated as I get and that’s not even guaranteed. I think part of what’s making this feel like an errand is that I drive a pretty good distance (well, it’s more like I sit in traffic for awhile) to meet up with this particular group and so I’m stressed getting there, then it’s more traffic headed home when I’m tired and hungry, and THEN I get home late and am cranky. Plus, I’ve been nursing an injury that hasn’t quite ever seemed to heal so that’s not helping matters. I want to check our Orange Theory but the one local to me is extra $$$ (of course it is!) and a few people swear by CrossFit but that scares the shit out of me. I’ll find something. Maybe it’s just a matter of not worrying about signing up for races and taking the obligation part out of it?

  2. Running a half marathon is overrated. I really liked the 10K distance or slightly longer, but anything past 10mi and I wasn’t having fun anymore. I did it, but have zero desire to do it again. Plus it’s just a LONG time to be doing anything. I ran my half in 2hr 23min…that’s a long time to be doing something if you aren’t having fun. But 5K and 10K distances are still fun, so they’re worth doing. I’m slowly getting back to running in fits and spurts now with Will in the stroller. Dude, if you need to add 60lb of resistance to your run training, borrow a kid in a jogging stroller – it’s no joke!!! Plus he’s entertaining with a stream of random commentary as we go.

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