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Thursday, June 10, 2010

I've HAD IT!

I've had it with food and late-night hungry, and either eating when I'm not hungry or not eating when I am hungy. With the contridictory information and the lack of hard science. By the changing trends and the changing diets and feeling helpless because no matter what nothing I do seems intuitive for MY body. We won't even mention that this is the first summer that I haven't automatically been able to take off the 5-8 pounds I gain over every winter off by just doing my normal summer routine (more activity due to longer days at the stable etc.).

The human body adapts remarkably well. I guess I should take it as a compliment that my body does as well on a vegietarian diet as it does a low-carb. That as long as I'm not eating fast food, my body is relatively happy. That apart from a dairy intolerance during the last stages of training during my second marathon, I'm not allergic to any food and tolerate everything pretty well. Except copious amounts of sugar. I can DEFINATLY feel the effects that particular binge.

But I'm tired of constantly changing my eating philosophy. I'm not a fad dieter and never have been - I'm committed to a lifestyle change, but the question is which one?

I moved from low cal to vegitarian. Then to "South Beach" (low carb). Then to eating "clean" with leftover philosophies from South Beach. Then to "don't eat out for a month - only black coffee can I purchase outside the grocery store". Then to intermittent fasting (14 hours at a time).

So what's the problem? I don't like any of them in whole and there were things I disagreed with in each. So I attempt stitch together a philosophy that I feel makes sense and I can live with for the rest of my life.

Here are the constants:
  • Eat clean. No long labels, nothing proccesed (if I have a choice).
  • Dairy is fine. I love milk and plain yogart. I like cheese, but I can also leave it as a special treat if needed. I know a lot of people out there disagree with me, but I have specific reasons for eating dairy both personal and global and as long as it continues to agree with me (and having gone through a period of disagreeance....I feel like I'm "in tune") I will continue to consume it.
  • Limit Caffiene. Don't have any at all if I have a choice.
  • I'm not willing to count calories or carbs for longer than 2 weeks.
My frusteration stems for the mulitude of contridictions in the "other stuff":
  • go low fat, incorporating whole grains in a mostly veggie and lean meat diet?
  • cut out carbs except for a very few on a limited basis? Don't worry as much about fat?
  • Cut out carbs AND other things like legumes in addition....
  • Calories in versus calories out being the only basis for weight loss and health?
  • Excessive exercise makes you hungrier and therefore could cause an increase in consumption of food (and crave exactly the wrong sort).
  • Eat 3 meals a day or 5 smaller ones (BTW - it's extremely hard for me to do this because of my small size it's hard for me to get 4 or 5 small meals in a day and not eat too much food).
  • Eat breakfast, or don't eat until you are hungry in the morning?

I know what feels best and I know what's sustainable (and those are two different things). Somewhere I need to find a middle ground, because getting frusterated and throwing in the towel and becoming unmovitated and depressed about this is ridiculous.

And I haven't even gotten to the exercise portion of the equation. I fortunate that I LIKE exercising. I'm not so hung up about getting all my work outs in now as I used to be as I've accepted nutrition is a bigger part of the equation, but the fact still remains that there is a LOT to do a too little time to do it. And the big question: how do I balance cardio with strength training?

  • endurance cardio
  • Sprint cardio
  • Strength training
  • Flexibility
  • Gymnastic strength
  • off days
  • light days
  • etc etc etc etc

Not to mention complicating this whole ordeal is me dealing with chronic injuries that affect how I can work out. Yes, they are better BUT, especially with the achilles, I have to be careful. Even now, I pissed it off royally by wearing 4 inch heels at a work party 3 weeks ago and I'm still paying for it with soreness and pain all day long. And no, it wasn't worth it.

And somewhere in all this there is a horse, and a job, and family, and a boyfriend.

So what AM I going to do?

For starters I'm not doing ANY drastic changes before Tevis. That would be stupid. Overall I'm doing just fine. Yes, I would like to make changes, but for now all I can do is minor tweaks and resolve (once again) to stick to my principles. *sigh*


  • Eat Clean.
  • Don't eat out except for black coffee. No excuses. During unavoidable work functions, order a salad.
  • Focus on whole grains and fruit when eating carbs. Try to focus on veggies and protein but don't get hung up on it.
  • No eating after 7pm. Try to make it 6pm, but 7pm is the absolute limit in case I go for a run or eat late after going to the stable.
  • No liquid calories except for milk
  • At least for now, keep the slim fast shakes in the truck as "emergency" food. These work great if I accidentally screw up and end up VERY hungry and I feel like I MUST go through a drive-in for fast food. They aren't ideal, but they are better than the alternative and will help me to stop the habit of using fast food as a remedy for my lack of planning!


  • Continue to run at the limited amount allowed by the doc (I'm up to a whole 12 minutes...)
  • Walk every day
  • 4-5 times a week break out the jump rope, exercise ball, and my functional strength stuff. Alternate upperbody/core and lower body. Don't get hung up on any specific routine - just get into the habit of DOING it.
  • 1-2 times a week do mat work, focusing on flexibility and core (pilates).
  • Bike to the stable "a couple" times a week (target - 3x)
  • This is much more likely to happen if I move all my equipment to my stable like last summer.....


After Tevis, reevaluate and determine if what I need to change. Do one change at a time and go slowly. The goal is to have something that works (both nutritionally and exercise) that WORKS over the winter, historically my toughest time of the year. I've tried the cold-turkey thing when it comes to lifestyle change. Maybe it's time to try the baby steps approach.

Thank you for letting me vent.


  1. I hear you loud and clear, gal. It's frustrating, fer shore.

  2. I hate to be nitpicky but most of the food choices you've written about in past postings haven't been exceptionally conducive to a lean body. Beer bread, twizzlers, pop tarts etc. I think if you got into a habit of eating lean meats along with plenty of veggies and if eating carbs make them whole wheat, would make for an easier time in obtaining a leaner self. Just sayin'.

  3. The beer bread is a 2-3 times a year only thing so I feel OK glossing over it...

    As far as the twizzlers, pop tarts etc - that is RIDE food only. I struggle with whether to eat different at rides and have come to the conclusion that I have so much problem with nausua (related to seasonal allergies, hay fever, etc.)at rides I'll eat anything that I can get down and keep down. As a result, that tends to be jello, pudding, poptarts, twizzlers, pasta salad, and cut up sandwiches on french bread. And pototo chips.

    So while I see your point, I think that on the blog, I probably talk more about my ride food (which is not my normal diet) than what I eat 90% of the time. (which makes sense as this is a horse/endurance blog and not a "Melinda's life blog".

    I usually do a ride every 6-8 weeks, so even though it would be nice to eat veggies, lean meat etc. during those 2 days, I figure that's part of my 10% of my diet where at least for now, I have to just go with what works.

    I could do better during rides if I controlled my allergies during the rides (what is making me sick is a constant drain from my sinuses to my stomach) but I hate Hate HATE taking pills.....and except for rides I'm to the point where I don't HAVE to take allergy pills, I can control the allergies other ways.

    Still.....taking a pill and having good nutirtion for those 2 days versus not....something to think about!

  4. Anyway - my point of that horrendously long comment was....

    I don't think the ride food is a problem as long as I could be consistent the rest of the time.

    In fact, the ride food and eating during rides thing might resolve myself if I got the other 90% of my diet figured out!

    Right now at rides, I just concerned about geting enough calories to support the's hard to eat enough jello to cover the caloric needs of 155 miles over 3 days, and you know you have a problem when you can't keep coffee down.

    Magically when I took some claritin half way through teh 3 day pioneer I was hungry again....*sigh* Now if I could just LEARN from that experience.

  5. I think in general, most of us know the basics of what is good for us, and what is not. I dropped 20 pounds by cuting out ALL fast food, except Subway, which was what I could do in a hurry if I was on the road. Then I'd order a Veggie. If hubby and I ate out, I tried to make better choices. A chicken breast is better than a big ol burger. And, I tried to eat a salad a day of some sort.

    And the rides? I eat what I crave, and what is easy to fix, which may break the rules of only eating things we know are better for us. lol

  6. It's nice to know someone else is going through the same things.

    txtrigger - All told I was spending ~$50 bucks a month on eating out/fast food so I orginally made my decisoin so I could ahve that 50 bucks back for horsey stuff. It would be awesome if it just let me lose 5 pounds even.....

    when I cook at home everything is from scratch (not a whole lot is processed) and I can do it consistently, so the area for biggest improvement is DEFINATELY the whole eating out thing - which doesn't work if you do it all the time, even if you are *trying* to make good choices. Ha!

    BTW - I feel much better for having vented. I MUST go to bed now...catching a flight in 4 hours. *sigh*

  7. Surprisingly, my multivitamin has really made a huge difference for me when it comes to cravings. I find I can much more easily stick to healthy choices for both meals and snacks and that is a really good (and unexpected) benefit!

    Recently a blogger I follow wrote a post about her food philosophy - check it out I think it's a good read:

  8. Hi Mel! Just read this and thought of this post

    and wanted to share.


  9. Heh, good timing. I'm on day 2 of "eat low carb til you lose 20 lbs then switch to primal." I will let you know how it goes. Tamara looks ridiculously good, and I think I could live without grains if I got to eat fruit. For me it's all about finding a compromise that I can live with.

    Also, quit wearing heels. Would you treat your horse this way? You are reinjuring a chronic injury for your own pride! Wear nice flats and no one will look twice as your feet. >:(

  10. Ah! Now my turn.
    Enough with the heels!!! Toss 'em. You can get cute shoes with a low heel.

    I agree that you shouldn't be concerned about the ride food. But your unreasonable reluctance to take a pill, any pill is overboard. Try to be objective about it, not personal (pretend you are your horse, trying to take care of this crazy obsessive compulsive person who won't take her worm, er, allergy medicine.)

    After all this study and experimenting, you should be able to find a relaxing spot in your eating philosophy. You are trying to control too much. Maybe even micromanage to excess.

    It's a given: eating out is rough and always leads to way too many calories and wrong choices. So eat out once a month and enjoy it. But avoid Fast Food. That's not eating out. (You already don't drink sodas or shakes/mochas/frappes.)

    I like the YouDocs
    because they have general principles to eat by, not tight controls. (our paper carries their column)

  11. It's all very confusing to sort through the crazy information. I've spent the last two years trying to wade through things and discover what is actually healthy, and what is just hype.

    A few things that I have found very helpful:

    Pay attention to your water consumption. A lot of times, what you think is fat can actually be retained water because you are not drinking enough.

    Whole foods whenever possible. This is the kind of food our bodies were designed to process.

    Stay away from anything artificial (this goes along with eating whole foods). Artificial sugars especially change the way your body absorbs nutrients.

    I just try to think about my diet as being as "natural" as possible. Organic foods that are eaten raw if possible, raw dairy if you can get it and consume it safely (do your research on that one), unprocessed meats (no hamburger, no bacon, pastrami, hot dogs, etc). Chicken and fish are better than beef, and pork is a no-no. Rabbit and buffalo are also great if you can get them. Eggs are great for energy. I started eating them in the morning consistently and I couldn't believe how great I felt! They do have a lot of fat, so one is better than two.

    I also don't really eat meals. I just snack all day. As long as your snacks are not junk food, this seems to be a good way to go.

  12. Thank you everyone for your motivation and resources. I know that this is a journey and recommitment but sometimes I forget that and I get frusterated because I have to continually recommit....but that's just the way it is!

  13. I think revising and always thinking of what we eat and put in our bodies is smart. Dont get upset with yourself for revising your 'plan' for eating,etc.
    I do 90% Veganism and it works very well for me. It helps keep weight off, keeps things moving, keeps my belly happy and you dont count calories, or carbs which I like. If I want to cheat and eat cheese, or eggs or meat, I allow it and dont beat myself up but I keep right back on the Vegan plan. I eat a TON of beans and legumes and they really help w/ energy and burning fat, etc. They are soooo good for you. Check it out and see if it can work for you..even doing it a few times a week will help. :)

  14. I second the primal eating thing. I have gone from a weak vegetarian, (not a very good one either, my meat cravings were STRONG) to a getting stronger and fitter primal eater.

    Try this website


    Key points

    - low carb
    - no grains
    - no processed food
    - eat plenty of good fat
    - eat protein
    - limited dairy (I can't totally give up my yoghurt or cheese)

    So basically, eat meat, seafood, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit.


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