Weeks 8 & 9

Coming to you live from the elliptical in my gym because well, I’m a busy gal and if I don’t write this during my work out it probably won’t get done.

So again, nothing spectacular happened in the last couple weeks, specifically with running. Winter hasn’t gotten the memo that it’s actually spring time so I’ve been doing almost all of my runs inside on a treadmill which has not been ideal. As far as lifting, I signed up for another 4 weeks of online coaching and I’ve finally started to see changes in my body. Thank goodness because I was starting to get frustrated, but obviously changes don’t happen immediately.

Most of my clothes are now a little bit loose and I feel so much more comfortable in my skin, I’ve been waiting a really long time for that. My legs feel more defined and my core and back feel strong, which as a runner those are super important. I got weighed last week and my hard work is starting to pay off because I lost 2.5lbs of fat in 4 weeks.

If I can keep this up, which I intend to, I’ll be at my goal weight by my marathon in October. Losing weight will significantly help my average pace and my efforts to cut an hour off my marathon finishing time.

The Pittsburgh half marathon is only a few weeks away now, so I’ll be posting weekly until then!

Till next time!

Week 4 & NEDA

Can’t believe I’m already a month into training for my 5th half marathon. So crazy. Last week I mentioned that I started a new strength training program and after only doing it for a week I can definitely tell it’s going to be a game changer. I feel like it’s already helped my running form and stamina, and it’s definitely helping my sleep because I am so exhausted after every workout. I’m not mad about it.

As of yesterday my 26th birthday is 2 months away and I’d like to lose 10-12 lbs before then. My eating habits have been getting significantly better over the last few weeks so I feel like everything is finally coming together. With my past though, the desire to lose weight can be a slippery slope….

I shared some of my story on Instagram (cpier10 if you want to follow) but last week was Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I felt like it was important to talk about this because ED’s are very common in athletes. While I have never been diagnosed with one, I have had anorexic/orthorexic tendencies from my teens through 22-23. I’ve never fully disclosed everything I put myself through during that time to anyone but my nutritionist and the guys I dated during that time. I think I’ll still keep some things to myself but I’m hoping that by opening up some, it helps others to feel like they’re not alone.

I’ve always struggled with my weight, I gained a lot of weight the summer before 4th grade because I wasn’t very active and I was constantly overeating. My body image issues started shortly after that. It wasn’t until I was in my sophomore year of high school that I really started “dieting”, and by dieting I mean eating maybe 500-800 calories a day. I started to lose some weight and I had allowed it to get to the point where I felt better when I didn’t eat. Of course this isn’t sustainable so I’d go through a couple of months of that followed by a couple of months of binge eating. This peaked when I was 19, I had gotten a gym membership and I quickly became obsessed with Spin, the elliptical, and  burning as many calories as possible. I would go to the gym, get on the elliptical for  an hour, go to an hour-long spin class, then go back home to get on the treadmill because I NEEDED to lose weight. It consumed me. During that time I was dating a guy who went to Pitt and I would visit him on the weekends, every weekend I would get so drunk because I was never eating enough and exercising too much. I used the alcohol to briefly forget that I didn’t like myself and to finally let loose. I was a hot mess.

I did this for a year until I decided to do my first half marathon for my 21st birthday, I ended up gaining back all of the weight but I did cut out alcohol for 5 months in order to take training more seriously. Once the race was over I started celebrating 21 and put on even more weight and drinking even more. I was so depressed that I would come home from work, close all the curtains and go right to sleep. By the time I was 22 I had put on so much weight I had reached a number on the scale I’d never seen before and was being told by my doctor that I had fatty liver. (Fatty liver can be caused by alcohol as well as gaining a lot of weight because the fat has to go somewhere) I immediately went back to my old habits of restricting calories, counting every single thing I ate, cutting out alcohol, and I started to see the number on the scale go down.

When I met my nutritionist a few months after the fatty liver diagnosis, I was still only eating 800-1000 calories a day. He made a meal plan for me and I started eating around 1300-1500 and the weight started to come off because for once I was finally eating the right amount of food. In all honesty, the fatty liver diagnosis was the wake up call I needed and looking back I’m glad that happened. I’ve been working with Andrew from Case Specific Nutrition for a little over 3 years now and we’ve been through a lot; several meal plans, a few whole 30s, setbacks, screw ups, but I’ve also learned a lot from him. My number one goal isn’t to be skinny anymore. It’s to live a balance life and to be strong, confident, comfortable, faster and HEALTHY.

Everyone has their own journey, and some don’t come out on top. I finally feel like I’ve got my head above water. I still struggle with these habits, but I see the goal and I’m getting there in a safe and healthy way. It’s a good feeling to have…

 

Till next time…

Why running?

As I continue to introduce you to myself, I figured I’d explain why I chose running several years ago and why it’s become so important to me. I get asked this question several times a week, in fact my dad asked me again last night, “Why do you torture yourself? Cycling is so much easier.” My answer was something about how I like a challenge, and that is true but it goes much deeper than that.

Prior to this point in my life, going back to high school here, I had a really warped view of myself. I was constantly trying to lose weight and going to extremes to get there, this peaked the year after I graduated when I started to restrict my calories to maybe 700 a day and working out for 3 hours a day at minimum 5 days a week. I was miserable. I eventually got burned out and turned to drinking to quiet that negative self talk. After I turned 21 (and finished my first half) I really relied on alcohol to self medicate and fell into a funk of depression. A year later my weight had peaked to over 200lbs (I’m only 5’3!!) and later in the year I had gotten sick and discovered I had fatty liver.

Things changed after that. I slowed down my alcohol consumption considerably, went to a psychiatrist for medication and started seeing a nutritionist. We worked on getting over my disordered eating habits and getting back to eating healthy. Once I got my diet in order and I lost some weight I worked on getting comfortable running outside again. The more races I signed up to do the less I “fell off the wagon” because I just didn’t have the time to go back to old habits.

It’s been a few years since all of that happened but I now run 4-5 days a week, I’ve learned to control alcohol consumption to 2-3 drinks a week (if that), and as of July I came off of all my anxiety and anti depressant medications. Running helped me through all of this. It’s helped with my self confidence, my mental health, my diet, and made me a better person all around. I’m so glad I picked this crazy sport as my passion.

 

Why do you run?