Q. I've lost 135 lbs and I'm a pretty healthy eater. I sometimes struggle to let go and indulge every now and then. When I do I feel like people are watching what I eat. For example, I pinned a dessert on Pinterest and it posted on Facebook. Somebody commented about it not being healthy. Another example, we went out for dinner and I got pancakes (I love breakfast for dinner) and my brother said "there's a lot of calories in those pancakes." I know some of this is probably paranoia but do you ever feel like people watch what you eat because you've lost a large amount of weight?
A. First, a huge congrats on your weight loss--that is amazing!! I can absolutely relate to the comments on what you're eating. Most of it comes from the blog, though. I used to post my daily food logs (just for my own accountability, not because I was asking for advice), and I would get comments like, "You eat too many carbs", "You don't eat enough protein", "You eat too much fat", and even recently, "Grapes are unhealthy--just sugar and water".
I've learned that no matter WHAT I eat, people are going to have an opinion about it, so I just ignore those comments and do what is best for me. I'm very in-tune with my body, and I know what foods make me feel good, what foods make me feel like crap, what foods make me gain weight, lose weight, etc. I've never claimed to be a perfect eater, and I certainly wouldn't be happy eating a "perfect" diet that didn't include my favorite foods, healthy or not!
When someone makes a comment about your food having a lot of calories or something, I would say, "I know, isn't it great that I can indulge and still maintain my weight loss?" It will get old after a while, and the comments will probably stop. But you know your body, and what is best for you, so don't worry about what anyone else says.
Q. When you first started running how did you find it in you to just run by yourself? I HATE running by myself despite that I listen to music. I really don't talk a lot when I do run with someone but I think it is the motivation that I have someone running with me that keeps me going.
A. It's kind of funny, but the reason I originally chose running as my main exercise was because I could do it alone. I'm an introvert, and the thought of doing group exercise was anxiety-provoking for me. Now, I enjoy running with a partner once in a while, but there are lots of positives about running alone.
When you run alone, you can go at whatever time is convenient for you, without trying to figure out a schedule that works for both you and a partner. You can run at your own pace, so you don't have to slow down or speed up. You can focus on your own goals, whether it's to run farther or faster.
|I find podcasts pass the time faster than music does|
But if you need to run alone, for whatever reason, maybe you could find an "accountability" buddy, who you text periodically during a run to say how far you've gone or any thoughts about the run. I did this recently with Lealah, because we each had a 20-miler scheduled on the same day. It really helped me mentally when I stopped to "check in" with her!
Q. My sister and I have started running together. We are both obese, but she is about 40 lb heavier, a few inches shorter, and she runs a little slower than I do. We're kicking around the idea of signing up for a 5k several months from now. My question: Should I try to keep pace with her in the race, or even walk with her if she needs to slow down that much? How do you handle this situation when running with a partner or group? I don't want to hold myself back, but I feel like I'd be letting her down if I left her behind.
A. This is a really great question! Most of the races that I do have been with friends. However, we all run our own race--meaning we go there together, hang out together until the race starts, and then we do our own paces during the race, and we meet up again after the finish line. We all have different goals, so we focus on ourselves during the race.
|We arrived together, dressed alike, but ran at our own paces.|
The finish line is the best part, anyway ;)
You should certainly talk about it before you even register for the race. Just say something like, "So do you have a time goal for the race? I'm going to try for xx:xx!" And then it kind of informs her that you won't be running together unless she plans on running that same time. Chances are, she would feel badly for holding you back if she knows you could go faster. When I run a race with Renee, she's much faster than me, but I wouldn't want her to slow her pace in order to run with me. We just meet up at the end, and talk about how we did.
The exception might be if you're doing a fun, novelty race--like The Color Run, or Warrior Dash, or something like that. Then it would be fun to stick together as a group. But again, I would discuss it beforehand.
As long as both of you discuss and know what to expect on race day, and then follow through with that plan, there shouldn't be any hard feelings!
And now a question for all of you...
What's your favorite "cold weather" meal?
One of my favorite things about fall and winter is cooking lots of soup! My very favorite would probably be Split Pea Soup in the slow cooker.