March 26, 2012

Reader Questions & Answers #6

Normally, I do this post on Sundays, but since I had my half-marathon yesterday, I saved it for today...

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.

I've never been extremely social or had a lot of friends, so I wasn't constantly turning down offers ;) The most frustrating was when my mom would ask us to come over for dinner at her house. She lives less than a mile from me, and she always invites us over. She likes to cook, and she makes some good (i.e. highly caloric) food. I explained to her that I was following my food plan and I didn't want to eat dinner, but I would come over with the family and I would bring my own food. 

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


  1. Awww... I LOVE Ross! I think he's adorable and smart is sexy!!! My sister's love Chandler and for a very long time Matthew Perry was one sister's screensaver! I'd say I'm like Monica, as well. Since I'm a Virgo, there's a place for everything and everything needs to be in it's place! Unfortunately, my husband is the 20th of September, leaning towards Libra, so he isn't a fanatic about neatness, at all. Can drive me crazy, but I try to remember and NOT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!!

  2. I wish I could say I'm most like Phoebe, because she is my FAVORITE! But, I'm probably most like Rachel...and she is my least favorite..haha

  3. I am Phoebe. I am silly, march to the beat of my own drum, crazy people are attracted to me....

  4. I think I'm like Chandler - I am a wise ass. lol Thank God I don't have 3 nipples!

  5. Sounds like you have great friends Katie. YAY! As for the friends character, probably Chandler. I'm a bit of a joker. But, like Monica above, I too don't have 3 nipples. :) Have a great day!!!

  6. I am most like Rachel. But I would have fallen in love with Chandler.

  7. I gosh I'm Pheobe all the a sweet naive sense, not dimwitted sense! It's so funny that you noticed that un-highlighted three miler when I looked at the photo I was like "Damn Katie hasn't missed even one run that's killer" then you pointed it out to us how funny! I guess I'm not type A!

  8. If I had to choose just one I would probably say I am most like Chandler because I am SO sarcastic all the time but I am not nearly as funny as he is :-/

  9. I don't really think I'm like any of the characters...but I was one of the many who asked their hairdresser for "Rachel hair"! lol Hmmm...there are no pictures of me during that time...I wonder why? ; )

  10. I have a saying that I like "The hardest step for a runner is the first step out the door". I hate hate hate the first few steps of running. But gosh darn it if I don't love how I feel after. I'm up to 5 miles, but I'm dreaming of a half marathon someday. :)

    1. Jen...I hope to be feeling like you someday in the not too distant future. I just took my "first step out the door" tonight and walked 1.62 miles in 30 minutes. lol ; ) It's a start!

  11. I agree with treating yourself a little after a long run. I look forward to whatever little extra thing I'm having a run.

    I also used to bring my own stuff to my mom's house when we'd visit too! ;)

  12. What is Chandler Bings job? Love Friends! Friends is playing on Nick at Night now, so my 12 & 13 year old girls have just began watching! They thought it was SO funny when, after watching the Thanksgiving special with Brad Pitt, I told them Brad was married to Jennifer Aniston lol. Anyway, it's so much fun watching the show "all over again."

    I think I'm kind of a Friends mutt. I asked my family, they said I'm like Rachel without the shopping obsession. I dunno about that!

    I would definitely hang out with Ross. He needs to relax and not take things so seriously, and that's where I'd step in lol!

  13. I think I'm most like Monica ... when I get into those moods (bossy, Type A, love to cook) but I'm a lot like Ross too. I'm geeky with the things I love and I don't really care if you like them too, because they excite me. :)

    Thank for the running advice. I love the highlighting idea. I highlight EVERYTHING at work and I think it will be a great motivation. And my husband will be able to keep track too.

  14. I guess I am most like Monica! Love friends! I have to watch it every night when I go to bed. I fall asleep to it! My hubs thought I was nuts when I had to bring the laptop camping cause I had to fall asleep to friends! Haha!

    What is your favorite episode?

    I have to tell you thanks so much for the great blog! I discovered you a few weeks ago and I havent missed a night reading! Its something I look forward to! Thanks agian!

  15. I spend a lot of time 'visualizing'. I had an 8 mile run on Saturday that I did NOT want to do. It's my longest run ever, and I had to totally psych myself up to go out there. 1 mile in, and I was ready for it to be over, so I started 'visualizing' and wondering how I would feel when I was done, and from about 3 miles and on, I knew I was going to finish it. It really helps me to 'see me' finishing my goal.

  16. Another Friends fan here. Asked for and got the complete boxed set of Friends on DVD a few Christmasses ago. But we also watch it when it's on TV too-even go so far as DVR'ing it, even though we own every episode. My older son thinks we're nuts, but we love our Friends.
    To answer "Losing 100 Pounds and..."'s question, Chandler is a TRANSPONSDER. No wait--that's NOT EVEN A WORD. I don't know that I'm like any of them..I'm not overly neat or goofy or sarcastic. Well maybe a little bit sarcastic. But I LOVE every single one of my FRIENDS!

  17. Hm... my favorite is Phoebe. She just seems so fun! As for who I'm like, I'm probably a mix of Ross (a huge nerd), Chandler (extremely sarcastic), and Monica (bossy and type A). Maybe that's why I like Phoebe so much, she's the complete opposite!

  18. Like Lindy above, I fall asleep to Friends every night, too! Love, love, love it!
    I would say I am most like Chandler (sarcastic to a fault, though not nearly as funny!) and a little like Ross (grammar nazi, rule-follower, dork :) ). I WISH I had Monica's clean freak nature, but I so don't.
    Chandler is definitely my favorite, though.

  19. I'm thankful for your answer to the restaurant question! I really do love to eat out, but I don't love to spend that much money on unhealthy food! These past 2-3 weeks I've been running faithfully, and doing a pretty good job with my eating. I have eaten out way more than is normal, but even when I have eaten out, I have tracked it and I've been in my calorie range. But, my weight just wasn't dropping. So, now I'm determined to cut the eating out again. After 1 day of eating completely at home, I dropped a pound. I wish that had dawned on me sooner!

  20. I'm totally a Monica and my husband couldn't possibly BE any more Chandler. We're a match made in Friends heaven :)


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