Sunday, August 6, 2017

Diet and Fitness Craze ... or Just Plain Crazy?

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I am an all-or-nothing kinda gal.  I will latch on to a new idea or behavior and go full steam ahead with it, until I ultimately lose interest entirely, or burn out.  Be it diet, fitness, writing, crocheting, quilting, a business venture such as my eBay business ... I tend to be very focused on that one thing to the exclusion of just about everything else in my life, and we all how how well that works out.  It doesn't.

I've tried various low-carb and other sensible eating programs (including Whole30) over the years.  They worked, and I lost a lot of weight, with almost no effort.  But I'm a diagnosed carb addict (yes, it's a real thing), and once you let any amount of carbs back in, whamo - the weight comes back, along with the cravings, because the addiction is always there.

I started running again a couple of years ago, (really just a walking pace for most of you, but a running gait), and once I got going, I was up to running a minimum of 3-6 miles a day, almost every day.  I even had aspirations to work up to a half marathon, as slow as I might be.  Nothing wrong with that, right?  Well there is if you're competing with yourself and become obsessed with time, distance, splits, etc.  I would neglect taking the dogs out for any exercise, or when I did, I would rush to adjust the apps when I got home to reflect how fast/far we actually went, because all their sniffing and taking care of business would cause my Garmin watch to stop and start, resulting in inaccurate data.  Again with the obsession.  Who cares about all that?  No one sees it but me!

It wasn't a lot of fun. And I'm now 60 years old, have osteoporosis with high risk of fracture, crazy high cholesterol, and overweight.  Not a good combination to be doing any distance running, especially since I usually go alone in remote areas.  I'm also pre-diabetic, but my blood pressure is good, and my heart is healthy, but I don't think I have to run miles a day to keep it that way.

I had to stop running early this year because of severe sleep deprivation, and it's taken until last month to decide it was time to get back into it.  I had gained all my weight back, and was eating way too much, and all the wrong things, even binging on occasion.  I started to run again a couple of weeks ago - not very far, but wanted to work back up to getting those 10k distances in.  I also decided to try some Leslie Sansone walking/workout DVDs that I borrowed from the library, just to break things up a little.  Well in typical MA fashion, I went out for a short run the next morning, then proceeded to do several 20-30 minute workouts from the DVDs throughout the rest of the day, then repeated the behavior the next day.   Do you see where this was going?  I was obsessing again!

My Three Amigos - Molly, Jethro, Phoebe
© Marie Anne St. Jean
I had a good talk with myself and said no more.  To prove I could do it, I took each of the three dogs out for a walk twice the last few days, allowing them to set the pace and do what dogs do, and just be dogs.  And I liked it.   It didn’t seem like a chore, or that they were holding me back from something I wanted to do.  I love these critters to pieces, but I hadn’t been being fair to them while I was focusing on what MA wanted to do.

So, my new goal is to not really have a goal.  I’ll be practicing moderation, or at least trying to.  I’ve done well the last week or so on a nutritional level, little to no junk food and NO binging,  but not counting carbs either. I plan on running a mile or two several times a week, if I feel like it.  I’ll also still be doing the other workout videos because I did enjoy them, and I’ll be finding others and reviewing them here on this blog also. But no more marathons with several sessions a day, especially on a day I've already run.

Will I pledge to never allow a cookie or potato chip to pass my lips again?  Nope.  And if I’m feeling froggy, I might hit the road for a 5K or 10K on occasion, but those distances will be the exception rather than the rule.  And of course if a friend wants to hit the trail for a gab session, I’m all for it.  Give me two minutes to grab my shoes and I’m there!

I do need to lose weight.  I do need to make better food choices.  I do need fresh air and exercise.  But while I need all three of those things to maintain a healthy mind and body, obsessing about any of it is not healthy.

And that's the end goal, right?

~ Marie Anne


  1. Balance and moderation in all IS a good thing. Hard to dial down to perhaps, but GOOD! and like anything you put your mind to. I know, you can do it!!!!

    1. I've been this way for 60 years so I'm sure the change won't be easy, but I'm determined! Thanks for your vote of confidence, Deborah.

  2. Good for you! Moderation in all things is such a hard thing to balance. I struggle with it a lot.


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