On Sundays, I will answer some readers' questions in a post. If you have a question that you would like me to answer here on the blog, just send me an e-mail with the subject "Q&A", and I may include them in a future Q&A post. They don't have to be about weight loss or running--anything is game! (Remember, I'm not a doctor or dietician, or any sort of medical professional--I can only answer questions from my own experience).
Q. Which character from the hit TV series "Friends" is your favorite and why? Also, which "friend" could you see yourself hanging out with in real life and why?
A. Love this question!! I can honestly say that I've never been asked this one before. It's hard to pick a favorite, but I would have to say Chandler. I love a sarcastic sense of humor! Could Chandler BE any more sarcastic?
I could see myself hanging out with Chandler for sure (his goofiness reminds me a lot of Jerry). I would say Monica, but she and I are a LOT alike (very bossy, kind of nerdy, type A personalities...) so I think we would butt heads. I love Joey and I think he would be fun to hang out with too!
Q. How do you manage not going out to eat with friends and family during the week or on the weekend? It seems you have a pretty close-knit group of friends and your family live nearby so I would think it would be hard not getting together and eating.
A. I honestly don't have much of a social life. I go out with friends once a month for Winers (my wine club). Winers is always after dinnertime, so while I was losing weight, I just skipped the food at Winers and just had a glass of wine. Just recently, Jessica and I have been going out to lunch after our long runs. Other than that, however, I never go out to eat.
When I was losing weight, and someone wanted to go out to eat, I would do one of two things: 1) If it was something I really wanted to do, I would look up the menu online and figure out exactly what I was going to order (and a back-up order in case they were out of what I wanted). Then I would stick to that plan no matter what. Or, 2) I would decline the offer.
If declining going out to eat, I would suggest something else--want to go bowling after dinner? Go see a movie? Take the kids to the zoo? Stuff like that, where I didn't have to eat.
Eating out, for me, ALWAYS makes my weight go up quickly, no matter what I order or how little I eat. And I'm very cheap with my money, so I don't want to spend the money on one meal when I could spend the same amount and feed my entire family at home.
|Going to a race expo can be way more fun than pigging out!|
And I did just that. I would make a dinner for me and bring it with me, then sit down and eat with everyone. It took a long time for my mom to realize that I wasn't going to give in. She wasn't trying to sabotage me, but she didn't understand how serious I was about losing weight.
Now, I still don't have many friends, but the friends I do have understand my way of doing things now. Renee and Jessica are my closest friends, and I feel very comfortable telling them thanks, but no thanks to certain foods sometimes. They're used to it, and they don't push me to eat things when I've told them I "can't" right now.
The best part is, I've made some running friends--so instead of getting together for dinner, we get together to run. Doesn't sound like much fun, but I've had some great conversations while running with my friends, and I've met some great girls as well.
I think it all boils down to what YOU want most, and what will help you reach your goals. If you know that eating out is going to throw you off track for your goal, then don't feel guilty telling your friends/family "thanks, but no thanks"! Just suggest something else you can do, that doesn't involve food. Something else I do is get together after dinner for a glass or two of wine--it's social, it's fun, and it only costs 100-200 calories.
Q. I really need some advice from an ex-non-runner. I just started training for a half marathon and I'm trying to increase my mileage (following a program) and I've decided my problem isn't so much my stamina, but my brain. I can pump myself up all I want for a run and be so excited about the weather, but the moment I take my first running step I start to talk myself out of it. I tell myself I'm tired, or hot, or fill in the blank. How do you (or did you) get past this? Maybe you never had this problem, but I'm really in dire need for some advice in this area. Thanks in advance!
A. Ask any runner about this, and they will tell you that running is as much mental as it is physical, if not more so. I have the same problem as you on most of my runs. It's easy for me to get out there, but the second I start running, I want it to be over.
For this reason, I make sure that I am always training for a race of some sort--that way, I have a training schedule that I have to stick to. I will know that if I skip a run, or cut it short, I won't be able to meet my goal for the race I'm training for.
I print out my schedule (I always use Hal Higdon's race training programs), and I keep it hanging in my kitchen. After I do my scheduled run, I highlight it so that I can see where I'm at in the training. It gives me a sense of satisfaction to cross it off. And being the Type A that I am, it would bug the heck out of me if I skipped a few runs and didn't have those highlighted marks ;)
You can see that I missed a 3-mile run the second week of training. I hate seeing that white spot! ;)
Another thing I will do to stay motivated to run is reward myself, especially on my long run days. I know you're not "supposed" to reward yourself with food, but I do--and it works for me. If I know that I'm going to have an awesome cookie after a long run, I get excited to finish that long run! Jessica and I have been rewarding ourselves with lunch at La Pita (or Whole Foods) after our long runs, and we both find that it makes us look forward to our runs.
We don't feel guilty for eating that many calories for lunch because we burned a heck of a lot on our run. Just make sure that if you reward yourself with a treat, it doesn't exceed the calories you burned, or you're defeating the purpose ;)
And now, a question for all of you...
Which Friends character are you most like?
As I said above, Monica and I are very much alike in our personalities. Which is kind of funny, because I don't like her personality! haha