Impostor No More

I mentioned last post that I had a story to tell about physical therapy – so here we go!

Ironic that I one of the last regular blog posts I wrote was about being a runner, feeling like an impostor runner, etc. etc. …so, turns out, I probably shouldn’t run ever again! tenor

For my back health…. but, also, funny enough, my knees. Apparently my knees are not doing so great. Even though I’m not having any pain (yet), they make this really nasty crackling noise, which means my cartilage is wearing away and if I continue with high-impact exercise (LIKE RUNNING!) I could very easily end up arthritic down the road. In the words of my physical therapist, “If running isn’t your source of income, you probably shouldn’t do it.”

Okay, then.

The good news is, I can still walk, hike, bike, swim, and goof off on an elliptical. My main source of exercise for the last several months has been walking and hiking anyhow. I’d like to give biking a shot, too.

Nonetheless, this information was a little devastating. I’ve recently been really looking forward to returning to running. Now I just need to look forward to discovering new cardio outlets!

Advertisements

Impostor

Ever heard of impostor syndrome? Wikipedia describes this as, “a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud.'”

Now, first of all, I don’t necessarily consider myself to be “high achieving” – by any means. If anything, I’m on the low end of mild achievement. I have a job that I am pretty good at performing. I tend to be a quick learner. I can house, clothe, and feed myself and my children. Sometimes I drink too often and spend too much money. Mostly I am a responsible adult. I would consider myself a pretty average individual. That being said, I regularly feel like I’m a really irresponsible adult just pretending to be responsible and somehow magically getting away with it.

…I kind of forget where I was going with this.

AH! Yes!

Running.

Those of you who have been following me for a while already know: I occasionally participate in self-indulgence on the Instagrams. I snap a selfie post-workout and share it with the World Wide Web in an effort to feel like I’m entertaining people – but mostly just entertain myself. …and when I snap a selfie and begin adding all my little hashtags (as one does), there is one hashtag that I hesitate on every. single. time.

J6Ql7.gif

#runner

I’ve been running since 2012. And by running I mean: jogging while stopping to walk every 1-5 minutes depending on how often I recently have been “running” and my current weight and/or fitness level.

Every time I type in #runner, I feel like a total impostor.

Who do I think I am?! I’ve never run more than 5 miles at a time! I’ve never finished a 5k in less than 40 minutes! I can count on one hand how many times I’ve slogged jogged a full mile without stopping!

Runner. PAH! Right. Sure.

…but then, I realize, this whole run/walk thing? This is a legit training method lots and lots and lots of, not just people, but professional athletes use. People who, like, get paid to run. …are they not runners?

I guess it depends on your school of thought.

But today I vow to stop hesitating before writing #runner on those self-indulgent photos I share with the world. The fact of the matter is: I run. Sometimes I run a lot. Sometimes I run a little. Most of the time it is slow and some of the time it is slower. This Sunday I will run in a 5k “race” and I will come in close-to-last because I’ll likely have to stop to walk a lot and will probably end up walking a large majority of the last mile. Does it make the event (one I’ve participated in for four years now) any less fun and the route any less enjoyable? Of course not!

If you run, you are a #runner, dammit! Even if you run in short bursts at slow speeds! That’s my opinion, anyway.

tumblr_static_sidebar2_04962.gif

The Difference

Today was a very busy day for me at work and while that’s generally a good thing (and it generally was good today), it afforded me little time to think about/plan for eating. Some of you may think, “Perfect!” But not so, my friends. Not so. Lack of thought and/or planning generally ends in a binge for me. And, sure enough, the moment I walked in the door at home this evening I began thinking about what sort of leftover Halloween candy I could begin shoving in my mouth.

I was starving, a little stressed, and my body was desperate for quick energy. And while I did eat a couple pieces of chocolate the moment I walked into my kitchen, I also took a moment to think about what lead me there.

I already know tonight is going to end up a bit of an emotional eating night for me. My last update, I talked about falling out of love with strength training/weight lifting and how I would just proudly wear my Cardio Queen crown and enjoy the movement and my regular physical activity. Well, just as what almost-always happens when I pile on lots of various cardio-focused activities: I’ve developed terrible, terrible shin splints. Adding 2 miles of running three days a week to my existing walking routine of anywhere from 3-6 miles/day was too much too soon for my lower legs. Add that to a pair of new running shoes that were not a great fit for my forefoot strike and heavier body weight? Disaster.

I’ll have to stop running for at least 2 weeks. Right as we come into November. 5 days before Daylight Savings Time ends. Smack in the middle of a struggle with SAD. This is obviously a little upsetting for me.

Will tiny candy bars heal my shin splints? No. Will they give me a little bit of an endorphin boost, release some much-needed serotonin? Absolutely! And so I shall eat them – after consuming a nutritious, well-balanced dinner to prevent over-eating them. And I shall enjoy them. And it will be good.

Non-Weight Lifters Anonymous

Hi. My name is Jess and I’ve fallen completely out of love with weight lifting, strength training, “toning”, whatever-the-heck YOU like to call it.

The idea of doing squats and deadlifts and push-ups and presses and rows and curls and lunges and… all of it… is entirely unappealing. I don’t know what happened, folks. I don’t know where it began. I think part of it started after canceling my gym membership in order to save some money (since I wasn’t going very often anyway!), perhaps the idea of moving heavy things around my basement just wasn’t quite as appealing. When I began this whole “week 1” of purposeful weight loss back in June and set a training guideline for myself (moderate to heavy lifting 3 times a week! running 3 times a week! all the sleep! all the protein!) I may have inevitably set myself for failure. It was too large a commitment. It’s what lead me to giving up not-quite-a-year earlier. It was not sustainable.

Here I’ve been beating myself up inside my head for “abandoning” strength training, worrying myself silly over loss of muscle mass as I cut calories, and even concern for my future bone density, when, really, my main goal at this point in my life is regular, consistent, sustainable physical activity. I take at least two walks a day 6 days a week. I am currently two weeks in to a run training program that has me doing short runs 3 days a week. I go hiking and/or trail running one day a week. I walk between 10,000 and 15,000 steps every day. My estimated TDEE is 3,200 calories which allows me to still eat all kinds of delicious food including dessert and alcohol “splurges” here and there while maintaining a caloric deficit. My pants are even starting to fit better! Yet, here I’ve been the last several weeks forcing myself to do a strength-based workout here and there when it doesn’t give me anywhere near the same endorphin boost resulting in  the warm and fuzzy feeling that a long walk, a quick run, or a hike through the woods does. For me, the most important part of a sustainable exercise program during the colder, darker months is that mental health benefit – and right now, cardio of all shapes and sizes is what gives me that. And even still, I’m having more days where I’m struggling… which is an even better reason not to force myself to participate in exercise I don’t 100% enjoy.

So, for now I’ll be a bit of a cardio queen.