Healthy and Sane

Moving on

March 21st, 2010 · 29 Comments · running, sandwich, snacks, sushi

Man, I don’t even know where to start with this post. Last weekend I decided to stop counting calories and give intuitive eating another go. The first few days were tough – I was not eating intuitively at all. Old habits die hard and my food addiction means that I eat emotionally. Hard day at work? A cookie may be just the escape I need, even if for a few minutes. Gorgeous day out? Let’s celebrate with a drink or a pastry outside! There is nothing wrong with enjoying food for reasons other than hunger. I get it. I love food. It’s when food becomes an impulsive response to every life situation, that’s when one (um, I) may get concerned. In any case, I’ve been trying to go through this process and be non-judgmental. When I overate on chocolate cherry almond clusters and pea pesto crostini, I reminded myself that I’m just a work in progress. I had a small slip-up on Friday night when once again I found myself next to a container of those delicious chocolate cherry almond clusters and had 3 of them and then hardly touched my dinner (Adam was happy to eat it, no food was wasted – no worries πŸ˜€ ). Here is a little picture of the first guy. SO good!


Other than that though, I’m starting to get the hang of it. That’s really great news since it’s only been about a week. :) Anyways, this post is not really about my progress on IE. There will be more posts on that, I promise. The reason I am mentioned it is because trying to eat intuitively is teaching me something other than not eating mindlessly. It is teaching me to be more kind to myself. That’s when yesterday’s run comes into play… shall we begin?

I had a goal – I wanted to run 12 miles and I wanted to run them by myself. It was supposed to be a gorgeous day out – this was the perfect day for me to run at a comfortable speed and really listen to my body. No distractions, no guilt about holding someone else back – just me and my ipod. The sun was shining, I was pumped. Around 10 am yesterday morning, I took off. I had a whole run mapped in my head and was looking forward to every milestone. After about 2 miles I was done :( I wanted to walk, just for a few minutes. I made a deal with myself that I could walk after 3 miles. Done – walked for 0.15 miles at mile 3. Loved every second of it. Then I slowly took off. It felt great to run. I didn’t understand why I needed to walk before. And then oh I don’t know, less than a mile in, I wanted to walk again. I walked again for about 0.15 miles. This little game continued for a few more miles. I was mentally exhausted.

Right at the half-way point, I was just DONE. I didn’t feel like running for 1 more second and I started questioning the reasons for running at all. The high of finishing a challenging long run cannot be beat. You know you accomplished something so amazing, all with your own 2 feet and mind (the latter possibly being the more important one). I wish I could bottle up this feeling, but yesterday I didn’t care about how amazing it would feel. I wanted to be kind to myself and just stop. I don’t mean just this one time, I mean just stop… for good.

Running has become a source of (mental) pain for me, only sometimes followed by joy. Of course it feels so good because it’s hard but maybe that’s not good enough. Maybe I can live a life where I follow my passions (fitness related included) and have that be enough, whatever “that” may be. I do enjoy running but I’m really done with training. I want to run because I feel like it, not because I have to. I think this whole time I was beating myself up for that horrible ending of last half. I forgave myself yesterday and I’m moving on.

What does that mean going forward? I will continue running with my friends and sometimes on my own (most likely just shorter runs). I will NOT worry about pace or distance. That’s not the point. I will explore other workouts. Yoga has become a recent passion I have not been able to dedicate sufficient time to. I was postponing so many things until “after that May half.” Once I made the decision to stop training, it was like this giant weight was lifted off my shoulders. What’s quite ironic, is that I actually sprinted. I took off because I wanted to and it felt amazing! I ended up covering about 10.5 miles yesterday. I probably ran 7 of them. I am happy with that because I am happy with my decision to let go. This is progress for me.

I haven’t posted about any of my food since Thursday. I put a self-imposed ban on eating out this weekend because we’ll be eating out A LOT next week. Everything was delicious and I would love to share it with you over the upcoming days. Although it’s a bit out of order, I guess I’ll share yesterday’s eats with you in this post. I ate intuitively. It actually is easier for me on the weekends.


1.5 toasts with homemade almond butter, 3/4 banana and coffee




I was running late for my hair appointment after the run/walk and a shower so I grabbed a juicy apple + a larabar to consume on the go.




After 2.5 hours at the salon, I was more than happy to eat for real. I was actually dreaming of a veggie/hummus bagel sandwich the entire time I was in that chair.

The Boston Garden from Finagle A Bagel (hummus, mixed field greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, olive tapenade & balsamic vinaigrette) on a ww bagel, scooped out


I enjoyed it on the bench in Copley Square while soaking up the sunshine and people watching. It was perfect. πŸ˜€


Sushi that we made!!!!


Adam and I took a maki making class yesterday and came home with so much good stuff. I’m just going to post these pics for now, but I will do a recap of the class in a separate post. Deal?




The sushi was awesome. We both felt so proud of our creations. :mrgreen:

Quite the day. Lots of decisions. I feel like I have so much more to share but we’ll leave it at that for now (gotta leave a little material for future posts πŸ˜‰ ). I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and I hope that you’re not disappointed in me. I’m happy with my decisions this weekend.

And on that note… peace 😎

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29 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Gabriela (froyolover)

    Awww, girl…
    The first days must be really tough.
    But, after seeing this pics, IΒ΄d say youΒ΄re doing a great job!
    That bagel looked really yummy, by the way.. Haha!
    Have a terrific week, Elina!
    Brazilian XOXOΒ΄s,

  • #2 - Hangry Pants

    I am really happy for you because running should not be a burden! I hope you are able to find a smile in yoga.

  • #3 - Run Sarah

    Glad you make the decision that is best for you. Your recent eats look great too – its been so long since I’ve had a great bagel sandwich!

  • #4 - Alice

    Aw it’s so good to hear you’ve made some decisions you’re happy with! Two things: IE is always easier for me on weekends too! I think it’s because boredom eating isn’t in there, plus I’m more relaxed. Also – how did you make the inside out sushi!!?? Can’t wait for the sushi making post!

  • #5 - Nicky

    Let me just say I feel like I’m going through almost the EXACT same thing as you, both food and exercise wise. You are inspiring me to be much kinder to myself! I feel like not counting calories will help us become worry-free about living a healthy balance. Keep doing what you do!

  • #6 - Tiffany

    Good for you! I’m glad you were able to remove yourself from the situation and take a deeper, more balanced view of what running has done FOR you and TO you. It takes a mentally strong person to be objective about something that they’ve come to rely on as a source of confidence and accomplishment and to move beyond that.

    It’s good that you’re branching out when it comes to your exercise routine. Yoga is a great workout for the body and the mind, and it will probably do a great job of jazzing you up and helping you to refocus on your goals and needs. I’d love to hit up a yoga class with you sometime! :)

  • #7 - Lauren

    Elina, anyone who would be disappointed in you for making a decision that is in your best interest isn’t worth your time. Anything you do in your free time should be enjoyable, and if training for races has lost its fun, you’re making the right decision to stop.

    The sushi looks incredible… I can’t wait to read about it!

  • #8 - Shannon

    I’ll just echo what everyone else has said. Exercise should feel good, and if running is not feeling good, then its a great idea to focus on other things. And maybe without the pressure of a race or needing to run X number of miles, you will come to enjoy it again. Good for you for listening to your body….both in terms of food and exercise.

  • #9 - Allie

    good for you! you should enjoy exercise- whether it be running, yoga, weight training, cross training. whatever. no pressure. i think i have said it before, but it took fracturing my hip and major surgery for me to get to this point of reason and happiness…so kudos to you, and always be kind to yourself.

  • #10 - Caroline

    A lot of what you wrote about in the post really hit home for me. I struggle a lot with eating based on my emotional state and have tried many times to eat intuitively. I commend you for being kinder to yourself and realizing that it is all a process and your not going to make major changes over the course of a couple days. As for the running thing, I was right there with you when I trained for a marathon two years ago. I remember dreading training runs and wanted to just run to run. That is exactly what I do now and I actually find myself going longer and longer when I don’t put any pressure on myself to run a certain distance or pace. Keep up the good work, your doing awesome!

  • #11 - Shannon

    i think i said this last time, but i agree totally, you should do what you love! you enjoy so many forms of exercise, running is not the be-all, end-all. you will still be just as fit and have a rockin’ body πŸ˜‰

    on the being to hard on yourself, well, i’m right there with you unfortunately, and it’s something i’m trying to deal with as well! let’s meet up for a walk sometime πŸ˜‰

  • #12 - sister inna

    actually being kind to your body is in the top two most important “lessons” i learned from you. i’m glad you’re taking your own advice πŸ˜‰
    i want finagle a bagel — it’s been a whiiiile

  • #13 - Sophie @ yumventures

    It sounds like a great decision you have made about running! That, coupled with intuitive eating, seem like you are moving towards making yourself happy, not doing what you think you should be doing. That is amazing! I have recently cut down on my running a bit and am doing some more weight training, and I love it! Sometimes if you find what is right for you, you find yourself getting in even better shape because you want to spend the time doing it! Congrats!

  • #14 - Cara

    It is so important to be kind to yourself. I can totally relate to not enjoying running as much when you’re training for a race, since it becomes something you MUST do instead of WANT to do. It also leaves little time for other kinds of fitness activities. Right now I only run a few miles a couple times per week and I’m so much slower than I was when I was running more often, but I do it because I know it’s good for me. My fitness goals revolve around strength training so it’s nice to have running as my “day off” option!

    I can’t wait to hear about your maki class- that’s something I really want to try!

  • #15 - coco

    I’ve never trained for any race and never feel obligated to run because I have to, because I think I can imagine the feeling of turning something that you enjoy into something that you force yourself to do, not good definitely. I’m glad you decided to take off the training thing and truly enjoy what you do. That’s great!!! Congrats! πŸ˜‰

  • #16 - MelissaNibbles

    Great post. Thank you for being so open with us.
    I think you should do what makes you happy. I think there’s a huge emphasis on running in the blogworld for whatever reason. It’s not the only form of exercise out there and it gets very boring very fast…for me anyway. I’m glad you’re going to do what you enjoy. After all, it’s your life and you should be enjoying it.

  • #17 - Betsy


    that’s all I have to say

  • #18 - Madeline - Greens and Jeans

    Sure exercise is important for health reasons, but who says it has to be HARD and that we have to hate every minute of it? I’m so proud of you for coming to a decision that was right for YOU!

  • #19 - Melissa

    Hey Girl! I just wanted to let you know that I’m on week 4 of the Couch to 5K program! So far so good!

  • #20 - Amanda @ LessonsInModeration

    What a great post! I’m glad you were able to clear your head and identify what makes you happy. Sometimes that can be the hardest part. Good luck on the intuitive eating….I have been trying to live that way for months and its deffo a way of life that takes a lot of practice. Listening to you your body is hard when the spinache and artichoke dip always seems to yell louder!! :)

  • #21 - Annie

    I’m so glad you are letting yourself do “happy” exercise instead of forcing running. I personally hate running, even though I know it’s good for me. I get a lot of joy (and calorie burn) out of yoga and some other workouts.

    Good luck!

  • #22 - Katie @ Health for the Whole Self

    Elina, this post is truly inspiring. I am so glad to hear that you are doing what you know is best for you. Also, your message about being kind to yourself is exactly what I needed to hear today…I’ve definitely been struggling with being too hard on myself, and now I realize that what I need and deserve is some true self-care. Thank you so much for this reminder!

  • #23 - Kerstin

    What an inspiring post. It’s such a great goal and something I need to get better about too. I always beat myself up if I don’t make it to the gym or have a bad workout and I need to get better about that. I hope you have fun exploring new activities :) I definitely think it’s easier to workout when you’re excited about what you’re going to be doing!

    Oh, and I can’t wait to hear about the maki class!

  • #24 - Nicole T.

    I had a very similar situation going on with me. Once I decided to stop running, I felt like anything was possible. It is amazing how one can trap themeselves into situations they don’t even want to be in.

  • #25 - Husband Adam

    I’m at the beginning of my running hobby now (I’m up to 4 miles at a time, from barely being able to run 1), but I’m wondering if I’ll experience the same highs (and lows) as you.

    I still like running now and it’s a source of pride from me, but I’ll try to keep myself sane in the process :) I don’t see myself trying a half anytime soon, maybe a 10k :)

  • #26 - eliza

    i would reccomend “the beck diet solution” for you completely. it really helped me out. it is all about emotional overeating. it was really really good!

    i still struggle too definitely is hard!

  • #27 - RunToTheFinish

    Well you know that I LOVE running…but I HATE the elliptical which I knwo so many people just adore. There is no reason you have to run, just find what you truly enjoy. Maybe you are a yogi at heart or heck I spent 4 years as a power walker and was pretty dang happy.

    I think I am a generally intuitive eater, but if I don’t count calories (not strictly) then I do find I’ll just overeat because it feels like a freebie day

  • #28 - Bridget

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I started running a year or so ago after I couldn’t turn on my computer without reading so many bloggers go on and on about how much they LOVE running and its the best feeling and all their races and PR’s…etc. So I wanted it too! I’ve taken it very slow, and I do see what all the fuss is about now because there is nothing like that feeling after, but I could definitely see myself getting to a point of not liking it by trying to do longer distances. I’d love to do longer runs but I’ll get there very slowly haha. I love that you recognized that it just wasnt making you happy anymore! There are SO many types of workouts, and I wouldn’t be happy either if I didn’t mix it up…i get bored real fast. Good for you! I am also very interested in reading more about your IE goals…that is something I struggle with a lot as well.

    Hope to see you soon! Have a great night :)

  • #29 - Jen

    I don’t think that anyone is disappointed with you!! I think that the most important thing is for you to be happy with you! If that means to stop training for something so that you can be happy, then my gosh, do it! It is so important to be confident and happy with who you are as a person. Maybe having other fun things to do (like yoga, etc) will help you with your eating. I feel like sometimes focusing on food to much makes us eat more, do you ever feel that way?