A simple breakfast:
We are TOTALLY out of groceries! I must run to the store sometime this morning.
I just had regular banana oatmeal:
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup rice milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 sliced banana
- Toppings: flax, brown sugar, cinnamon
More Questions and Answers, Part I
Kailey asked, “How long do you see yourself blogging? For life? And do you feel guilty on days you don’t workout?”
I think I will always blog about something – I really like to write and be part of an online community. I’d love to be a fitness mommy blogger!
Yes, sometimes I do feel guilty if I don’t workout. I think all women, especially active and competitive ones, struggle with some feelings of guilt when they don’t exercise like they planned to. But I try really hard not to listen to those negative voices in my head. I intellectually understand that missing a few workouts will not hurt my performance. Actually, guilt in relation to food and exercise is one of the primary reasons why I started Operation Beautiful!
Maria asked, “How did you fit in exercising when working in an office environment? I am having a hard time adjusting from college life to being in an office. By the time I get home I am absolutely exhausted, and doing it in the morning is pretty much not an option for me.“
My exercise and eating lifestyle was very similar to what it is now (although I wasn’t at the same fitness level and my longest race was a 10K). I worked 8:30 to 5:30 in an office that was about 25 minutes from our apartment. I would leave around 6:00 AM, drive to a gym next to my work, and workout until about 7:15 AM. I would shower and change in the locker room and go to work. Sometimes, I worked out after work but I didn’t like that as much because I found myself to be very tired after work. If I didn’t have the time or energy to go to the gym in the morning or evening, I would pop in a workout DVD and do it when I got home. I think it’s important to adjust your expectations of yourself to your lifestyle – if a morning workout doesn’t work for you, do a workout DVD in the evening twice a week, and work out hard on the weekends.
Liza asked, “Do you plan on having kids one day? Do you plan on running another marathon? How often do you work out?”
I cannot WAIT to have kids when the Husband and I are ready (hopefully, in three years or less). I am really, really eager to be a mother.
I do not plan on running another marathon. I had a lot of fun training and running the marathon, but my scary foot injury (I really could not walk on it for a few days!) was enough to make marathon running seem really unappealing to me. I generally do not getting hurt. :) A marathon seemed like something I just wanted to “check” off my list, since I’ve done all the other race distances. I’m not saying “never,” but I definitely do not have any plans to run a marathon in the foreseeable future.
Jill asked, “My question is about the mental side of training for a marathon or any other difficult workout. I love working out (I regularly do some combo of running, Pilates, and CrossFit 5 or 6 days a week), but I find that I really have to kick my own butt off the couch everyday and then when I am in the midst of a run or a CrossFit workout I feel like I want to quit early, I talk myself out of going the full distance, etc. I know that I can physically finish my workout, but I have a terrible time with pushing myself to my limit. I always feel fantastic AFTER a workout (especially a vigorous, sweaty one!) but it’s a real mental struggle getting there. I guess my question is do you have any tips, hints, psychological tricks to beat this?”
It’s OK to quit your workout early every now and then, but if you have this problem a lot, it can be really frustrating. My first thought is you need a break. Sometimes, I just need a taper week where I step back my workouts, and I come back feeling stronger and more involved than other. Other tricks that work for me (at least for running) include doing speedwork or tempo runs so I have to think more about my pace. Try downloading new music, too! Lastly, when I hear the “just quit early” voice, I tell myself “5 more minutes and then you can quit if you want,” but then I’m 5 minutes closer to my goal and usually hang on.
Whit asked, “Anyway, I do have a question about your life – specifically your dogs. They are too cute, did you adopt them?”
Maggie and James were both adopted from shelters/rescue groups in Pittsburgh, which is where we lived when we got them. If you click on their hyperlinks, you can learn more about each pup – the also have their own page!
Hana asked, “I was wondering what advice you may have on controlling mindless or occasional overeating. I usually struggle towards the nighttime and when I’m stressed out (which is often!).”
As I mentioned yesterday, I definitely have struggled with mindless and overeating. The tricks that work for me are ‘closing the kitchen,’ which is when I wipe down the counters and turn off the lights. I also have herbal tea,gum, or a hard candy at night to keep my mouth occupied. Lastly, if the urge to snack is really strong (and I’m not hungry), I will try walking the dogs or doing another chore. I find my urge to mindlessly eat is strongest when I’m bored.
Amanda asked, “I was just wondering if you ever feel guilty after a particularly indulgent day/night? I spent Valentine’s Day just drinking, eating, and lounging with my boyfriend. Although it was really great, I couldn’t help but feel guilty and a little stressed out. Thoughts?”
Of course. As I mentioned above, I believe all women suffer from guilt in one form or another – just by running the Operation Beautiful website, I see that so many girls and women feel this way. When I feel food guilt, I try to think about the societal factors that are making me feel guilty. I think society puts so much pressure on women to look a certain way. I *KNOW* that one indulgent day is not going to affect my health or my weight, but we have been trained to feel bad about it. I have an entire page dedicated to ways to end Fat Talk and feelings of guilt associated with food.
Erin asked, “Did you grow up eating similar to the way you eat now or differently? I find it difficult to break away from the one protein, one grain, one veggie meals that I was served growing up. Do you and your husband get to spend a lot of time together? Do you have a lot of the same interests? What do you think made your blog take off the way it did? I admit, I’m envious of your ability to express so much so succinctly. Have you always been interested in photography or is that something that started when you started the blog?”
I grew up eating pretty much like I do now, but now I eat even less processed foods, less meat (obviously), and less take-out. My mother was a working mom, and we relied on a lot of fast-food and to-go meals.
The Husband has a VERY busy schedule, and we don’t get to spend a lot of time together. We get most of our quality time together on the weekends. We do have a lot of the same interests – to a point. He enjoys being active and trying new things. He likes to go bowling and see movies. However, he does not like the idea of racing and is not as social as I am. As you see on the blog, we do a lot of things separate (as well as together), which works well for us. We don’t like to be on top of each other all the time.
I think Healthy Tipping Point is successful because I really care about it, I love my readers and fellow bloggers, and I put a lot of effort into answering e-mails and comments. And thank you for saying my photography is good! I think it’s OK for someone who is just starting out. :) Blogging did make me more interested in photography – I even took a class earlier this year on Camera Basics!
Corinne asked, “I started taking up running last year for the first time, and since then have had reoccurring shin splints. I’ll be able to run medium distances for about a week, and then the next week I can’t run ten steps without pain. I have good shoes, ice my shins, etc. but they always come back. Any experience with this?”
I do not have experience with shin splints, but Ashley swears by these compression socks. They are similar to my knee sleeves. If you’ve tried resting, icing, and elevation, I would try those. Good luck!
Diana asked, “If you had a REGULAR 8-5 job, how difficult would it be to have your lifestyle: blogging, training, loving on your hubby/doggies?”
I actually had a regular 8 – 5 job for the first year and few months I was blogging! I just recently began to live this self-employed lifestyle in September, when I got my book deal. It was very difficult to have a regular job, train, and run a blog. Blogging is VERY time-consuming – not just posting, but answering comments and e-mails and working with other bloggers. I used to wake up early, blog by 7 AM, blog again on my lunch break, train after work, and blog after dinner.
Katie asked, “If you were to have children would you raise them as vegetarians? Or would you closely monitor where/ how the meat you fed them was produced. Or will you allow them to make their own choice from the beginning? Also, if you were to have access to meat that was hormone free and ethically produced, would you go back to eating meat?”
When we have children, I plan to raise them as vegetarians, but I won’t freak out if they eat a hamburger at their friend’s house. They can make their own decisions about what they eat outside of our house; however, the Husband and I will raise them veggie.
I would not eat ethically produced meat on a regular basis because I’m not sure you can “nicely slaughter” an animal. In addition to my discomfort with factory farming, I really am just not sure we should be eating animals, especially when I love my dogs so much.
Maura asked, “I am dying to know how long it took your blog to be “what it is.” With just starting my blog in Jan, I know that I will need to be patient to see when or even IF it becomes a big success. Actually, it IS successful in that it has made me so happy to be writing and sharing with others, no matter how big or small the audience is. But I do have a strong desire to write a wildly successful blog from a mass reach standpoint, I’m curious as to when HTP blew up and how.”
It is really sweet that you see Healthy Tipping Point as so successful. :) Thank you. Although the blog is successful, I am certainly not the most successful food blogger. A lot of it is just about time. I blogged for a full year before I really felt like I saw significant growth in my hits, and the blog has doubled in size from August 2009 to February 2010. I think it’s important to focus on just having a good blog, not have X number of hits. To me, HTP is successful because people like it read it, and I’m proud of it. If you work hard on content, readers will follow.
Olga asked, “When you’re out on a run, do you think about something specific, let your mind wonder or just zone out to the music? Just curious!”
I never think about work when I’m running. I prefer to just listen to music and think about my training. If I’m running with a friend, I love to chat with them!
Stay tuned… more question and answers coming at lunch! 🙂