Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Running Hiatus

Heather had an interesting post the other day about maintaining her weight loss/health without a massive amount of cardio.

As you can read in Heather's story, she's a former running addict who has replaced her running shoes with a yoga mat. She also takes several walks a week. Amazingly, Heather said her body has taken on a whole new level since not running (in a good way!).

I've been brainwashed to think that running = burning calories = staying thin. I would run to eat more, and I didn't think I deserved treats unless I was running at least 7 or 8 miles that day. If I was running less than 7 miles, I would also do the elliptical for 30 minutes. Needless to say, this created a very unhealthy mindset when it came to running.

I think before, when I hurt my hip and gained 15 pounds, I got depressed from not running and ate too much cookie dough. Folks, if you eat cookie dough 3-4 times a week, you are going to gain weight regardless of your activity level! ;-)

Since my knee injury, I really haven't done hardly any cardio at all. I'll walk, do the elliptical, or swim occasionally, but mainly I've been consistent with lifting (3 x's a week) and ab work (3 x's a week). And you know what? I have not gained one pound! This is simply amazing to me. I want to go back and tell my 24 year old self that I don't have to run 35 miles a week to stay thin and healthy. (*Runners, plllllease don't think I'm knocking running 35 miles a week! I just think my way of thinking about running was unhealthy).

Of course, I have always and will always love running. But what I love NOW is the feeling that I don't have to do it to look this way. And I really hope to get back to running soon! I just think when I do, hopefully I'll be able to maintain this way of thinking.

Have you ever taken something "healthy" - an activity, food/drink, hobby - and abused it so that it was unhealthy for you?

Check out this giveaway for a $200 gift card!

And Missy Maintains Silk Milk and Surprise Goodie Giveaway!

And Jamie's Nut Butter Giveaway!


Anonymous said...

Yes! I did that with running - I'm working on cutting it down now, and I only run/bike twice a week these days. It's great - I have so much more time, and my body has not changed at all. I was injuring myself, and running through injuries constantly when I was in my running hay-day. I definitely agree with you that you do not need to run 35 miles a week to maintain your weight. This is a new revelation for me, but I'm sticking to it!

Erica said...

I hear ya- its very easy to get sucked into the more more more mentality. I think, as with most things, moderation is key! I have found for me, a variety of activities keeps me happiest (and probably healthiest)!

Erica said...

...but I can still have cookie dough once a week though, right ;)

Anonymous said...

Good for you! :)

I've taken the whole healthy eating a bit too far, before, but I think I've found a way to balance it all and I think that's what ultimately matters.

Brandi said...

I think it's so easy to cross over from interested/passionate to obsessed/unhealthy with anything.

I think as long as moderation is present in all aspects of your life, it keeps everything in balance. I've definitely had too much of a good thing before, and that never turns out well.

Christie @ Honoring Health said...

Oh yeah, I have taken both exercise and food to really unhealthy places. I think that you just have to honor your bodies wisdom and do whatever is right for you.

Missy said...

I also took it too far with cardio until I became addicted. It is easy to become convinced that you will gain weight if you cut any amount of cardio. Luckily I am over it and also agree that strength training is the key to maintaining my weight! I just need to do it a little more :)

Fitzalan said...

I just laugh at the question...The former me used to take everything and turn it unhealthy...worked out too much...ate to little, etc. etc.

I agree, I don't have to run to lose weight or stay thin. I actually lose more weigh swimming than I was running (at least in the past year).

But I definitely haven't gotten to the point where I feel I'm allowed to get away with not doing cardio. Case in point: I woke up this morning and swam because I knew I wanted to go to yoga tonight. Just doing yoga wasn't enough in my mind.

I still have issues.

Happiness Awaits

Hi! I'm Erin said...

Interesting post! Made me think.

I tend to get into a workout routine and then get upset when my routine is altered by life circumstances. I have a difficult time figuring out how to balance all the different types of exercises I want to try without giving up the ones I already do.

Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) said...

I think people underestimate the power of strength training. It's always cardio cardio cardio. So glad you've discovered that you DON'T have to run 7 or 8 miles everyday to stay fit. I bet your body is thanking you as well. :)

"Healthy" habits turned into unhealthy obsessive behavior? Um, I have/had several. Always a work in progress.

Anonymous said...

I think over-exercising was always a mistake that I also made in order to "allow" myself to eat treats and what not, grudging out intense cardio almost everyday or else I "didn't deserve that chocolate" kinda mentality - so I can totally relate to this post. Now that I have taken up a mix of exercises not all to include high impact/intensity (i.e. yoga) my body has changed and toned up in ways I never thought it could! No more endless time on the elliptical, however I still enjoy a good sesh on it every once in a while or a great kickbox sesh once a week!

Lara said...

Another big fan of strength training here. It has done more for my body then houres of cardio each week ever did. I also used to think you needed lots of cardio to lose/maintain weight but it really is not the case. Weight changes (either up or down) are almost all about diet.

In the past I took healthy eating to unhealthy extremes.

kilax said...

What a great post! I can relate so much. While I couldn't run, I kept eating like I could, and gained quite a bit of weight. Not I feel like I need to run to lose the weight. Ugh. I just need to run because it's HEALTHY for me! :)

Emily said...

I loved Heather's post on this. She is amazing, right? And so are YOU!!! I have totally been there before. I ran 3 half marathons and used to run ALL the time. I would not allow myself to eat things like birthday cake, french fries, etc. unless I'd been on a run. Now I realize it's not running that allows us those treats, it's balancing everything that makes it ok. As you know I've had to back off from running, and I do truly LOVE it, but I don't know if I'll ever be able to run like I used to and I'm ok with that. I'm so glad that you're so happy with how things are going without running. This post was so inspirational. Thank you for your perspective on this. I loved this!!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting post! I gave up dancing and didn't really change my food intake much at all, and didn't gain weight. I think it turned into a "I dance to eat" rather than "I eat to have energy for dance" and I had very real fears that by giving up, my weight would sky rocket. Which it didn't. I think I need to remember walking habits are getting unhealthy.

Dori said...

I understand so much! I took spinning and made it completely unhealthy for me in much the same way you did with running. I wrote a guest post about it on Carrots N Cake a few weeks ago.

So glad we BOTH see the truth now and won't get back to those unhealthy ways again!

Nicole said...

I stopped running for two years after HS. That was my longest running hiatus. I've since looked back at pictures and want to never stop running again! :)

Anonymous said...

love this post! just am about to start up a consistent yoga routine so im excited to see how it is compared to lots of cardio. love what you wrote!