Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

It’s been a minute, hello.

I had the urge to write this post for anyone who has a rocky relationship with food &/or their body image.

The Holidays are TOUGH. Not feeling in control of what food you have at celebrations, hearing all kinds of diet talk, comments on people’s bodies, and the always present “I’ve got to make up for this staring the New Year!” This time of year is filled with triggers, I get it. It can be completely consuming.

I don’t have a golden answer to help take the pain & discomfort of this time of year away. I can tell you to set boundaries with family members & friends by asking them to not talk about their diets or other peoples bodies or to simply change the conversation. I can tell you to just try to eat normally or to allow yourself freedom to eat all you want at the parties (both of which strategies I’ve implemented through the years). But at the end of it all, it’s still TOUGH.

I don’t say this to be a debbie downer, I say this because it can be easy to beat yourself up for feeling stressed & overwhelmed with disordered thoughts about food & body image while it appears that everyone around you is thriving. I’ve spent my fair share of Holiday gatherings sitting at a table holding back tears, unable to fully engage in conversation because I was so worried about what the food I ate was going to do to my body… and absolutely hating the fact that those thoughts were running through my head.

I just wanted to validate the difficulties that this time of year bring for anyone with any kind of disordered relationship to food & their body. It’s ok to struggle. It’s ok if your thoughts are messy. Remember that the pain & discomfort you feel won’t last forever. Just as sure as Spring comes each year, this season will end, & you will come out just a little stronger if you allow it.

My heart goes out to each of you & I want you to know you are not alone!! The road ahead today & these next few weeks is not easy AND there are many beautiful opportunities to build resilience on this bumpy road.

Please reach out to a loved one, to a follow warrior, the NEDA helpline or to ME if you need someone to give you support through your battles. There is strength found in reaching out… I can testify this through multiple years of pain that I kept to myself being healed through just a moment of asking for support!

What to Eat When You’re Craving Chocolate

What to Eat When You’re Craving Chocolate

I have a sweet tooth.

I’ve had a sweet tooth my entire life, even during those couple years when I swore I “didn’t like sugar” in order to not have to face my fear foods.

For the longest time, I cursed my sweet tooth & treated my cravings like they were something to be conquered. After learning all kinds of various “harmful effects” that sugar has on the body & mind, I felt like I couldn’t trust my own body’s messages if those messages were telling me to eat ~SuGar~. The times that I did listen to my cravings, I was filled with guilt, reassuring that I couldn’t trust my own body’s messages.

In order to quiet the cravings & the guilt, I would often attempt to put off my cravings. The internet gave me all kinds of “tips” to do so:

If you’re hungry, drink a cup of water.

If you want chocolate, you actually are craving vitamins, so eat a small amount of unsalted almonds instead.

Instead of eating the food you are craving, make a ‘healthified’ version of it.

So, when I really felt like eating some M&Ms, I’d instead drink a glass of water. A single minute after drinking water & I would still find myself thinking about those M&Ms, so I’d go for some almonds. While eating the almonds, dreaming they were M&Ms, I’d feel desperate to stop this sweet tooth craving. I’d then grab a piece of 70%+ dark chocolate, thinking “well… this is the ‘healthiest’ version of chocolate“. At that point, feeling guilty for eating the piece of chocolate, I’d continue to eat more of the chocolate. Feeling completely unsatisfied, and still craving the dang M&Ms I was craving in the first place… I’d ‘cave’ and eventually just eat the M&Ms, feeling like I was a failure.

Once I finally decided to just trust my body & to just let myself eat, I found exactly what to eat when my sweet tooth came around, begging me to eat some chocolate:

Chocolate.

Yes, eating CAN be that simple.

Now, when I find myself wanting some M&Ms, I have some. I enjoy them. I move on. I don’t ‘eat a circle’ around the food I actually want, meaning, eating more food than I actually even would’ve if I would’ve just eaten what I desired in the first place!

I’m on the same team as my sweet tooth now, & because of this, I’ve only found peace.

Heber Half & 4th of July 10k Recaps :)

Heber Half & 4th of July 10k Recaps :)

Heber Half Marathon

The Heber Half took place on Saturday, June 29th. The day before the race, when I had to drive from Kaysville to Heber to Salt Lake then back to Heber, I was regretting my decision to sign up. They didnt allow packet pick up the morning of the race like I hoped for when signing up, but I made it work & got to daydream about what it would be like to live in beautiful Heber on the multiple drives in & out of the city!

Austin & I stayed at a motel 5 minutes away from where bus loading was, so I didn’t have to wake up until 4 (which feels like sleeping in for an early morning race start time lol). The start was FREEZING. Even though I had a throw away hoodie & sweatpants, I was cold to my core & unfortunately they ran out of space blankets right before I could snag one. I need to start packing a throw away blanket as well!

My original goal was to aim for 7:25 average mile pace to finish under 1:38. However, I didn’t do much research on the course & didn’t realize how much of a decline the entire course was. So I came through the first 5k averaging under 7:00 pace feeling incredible, so I just went with it!

I had to stop & use the potty at mile 10, but other than that everything couldn’t have gone better. My fuel was settled in my stomach, my legs felt amazing & I had enough juice left to kick at the end which is always fun.

I couldn’t stop smiling when I came in through the finish seeing 1:33, getting my new half PR. While driving to Heber, I was just telling Austin how I wanted to spend a summer focusing on training a sub 90 half but that I think it would take me a year or two… but this race gave me confidence that maybe I can get that sub 90 much sooner (if I get a course with a decline like Heber’s😉).

I got 2nd place for my age group & made Austin wait an hour & a half for the awards ceremony so I could get another medal. ALL FOR THAT BLING BABY.

The Heber Half turned out to be my favorite thus far in my road racin’ journey. The course was absolutely stunning, the food & services at the finish line were incredible & the race was for an amazing cause- Autism.

This race will for sure go on my calendar for next year (& I’ll maybe get my sub 90:) )

Kaysville Rotary 4th of July 10k

This race will always be one of my favorites because it’s one of my favorite 4th of July traditions. There’s no better way to start out a holiday than with a fun race!!

Going into the race I knew I had a chance to win because last year when I ran I was incredibly out of shape & took second & because it’s a local race & because most of the fast fast people run the 5k 😉

My goal back in the beginning of June when I signed up for the race was to run it under 45 minutes (7:15/mile average). However, after finishing the Heber Half & an even faster average than that & having a great workout on Monday, I changed my goal to get a sub 43.

For some reason, Kaysville/Farmington/Layton area has some freakishly fast people & really great cross country runners… so I was praying that none of them were signed up for the 10k so I could get the W I was wishing for.

My prayers were answered (😉) & the race when just as I hoped. I felt great the entire time, & had my father-in-law to pace me on his bike a couple times on the course (& would let me know how close the second place woman was to me!) I ended up finishing in 42:25 & got that first place finish.

This may be the first & last time of my life I got to break the tape during a race, so I soaked it in, even if it is just a local holiday fun run.

I only have one more race before I race St. George!!!! I’m already so excited/nervous for St. George… if training keeps going as well as it has been, October 5 will be a g r e a t day.