Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Big Why vs. Little Why

It was bound to happen. The "Never Binge Again" (NBA) program that I believed to be the solution to my binge eating problems stopped working. I was off the wagon for about three weeks.

After I wrote this post acknowledging my wagon-fall earlier in June, I decided to book another one-on-one coaching session with Dr. Glenn Livingston.  But his time books up really quickly, and the first available appointment I could get with him was last Friday morning. In the two weeks until I met with him again, I let my "inner pig" get the best of me. I was feeling pretty awful, convinced the NBA protocol had failed me like everything else I tried, and I might as well stop trying and eat whatever I want.

Cookie Monster binge eating on cookies.
Me during the month of June
Even though I was feeling like NBA was no longer the solution, I attended my coaching session with Dr. Livingston. I explained how frustrated I was that things had been going so well for a while, but that I fell off the wagon and just couldn't seem to get back on track. "It just feels like I'm never going to change, so why bother trying?" I explained.

He figured me out in the two minutes it took me to lay this all out there (which is great, because each coaching session is only 15 minutes long. No time to waste!)

"Well, if you don't try, then what's guaranteed to happen?"

"If I don't try, I definitely won't change," I acknowledged.

"Right. Also, it sounds like you lost your motivation."

I contemplated that for a moment. I really haven't "lost" my motivation. I know exactly what it is, as I wrote it out in a detailed "Big Why" statement, an exercise Dr. Livingston had us do as part of the NBA online seminar. A "Big Why" statement is exactly what it sounds like - the big reason why you are committed to never binging again. For me, attaining a healthy weight, having energy and focus, and - of course - running a sub 2 half marathon are all included in my "Big Why."

"No," I disagreed. "I read my 'Big Why' statement to myself every day. Maybe my 'Big Why' isn't big enough." In the back of my mind, I thought about weight loss success stories I've read online. Usually, the motivating factor involves children. I'm not a parent, so I can't use this as a motivator.

"Or maybe you need a 'Little Why.'"

A "Little Why?" I hadn't thought about that before. All of the things I want to achieve as part of my "Big Why" are in the distant future. My far-off future self is a stranger to me, so why would I do something - like NOT eat the cookie - that's going to benefit a stranger? A "Little Why" could be all about more immediate gratification.

"Yes, I think I need a 'Little Why'," I answered him. So my homework assignment from our call was to figure out some of the immediate benefits of sticking to my food plan. So far, here's what I've got:

  • I'll feel good enough to go for a run (important if I ever want to achieve that sub 2 half marathon goal)
  • I'll be able to focus enough on writing at least 15 minutes every day (baby steps towards completing my novel) 
Um. That's it so far. And as of right now, neither of these things sound better than having a cookie. I understand I need to abstain from some of Life's pleasures in order to experience others, but what's going to be THE thing that makes me unravel years of engaging in such a terrible habit?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The good news is that I've had a few better days since meeting with Dr. Livingston, but I don't feel as strong as I did when I started the program. I want to get back to that invincible feeling. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Well, it doesn't look like I'll be seeing a chiropractor regularly anytime soon.

As great as I felt after seeing one this week, I just can't swing the $50 per appointment fee it's going to cost me to get my spine in order. When I had good insurance, I only had a $10 co-pay for each visit. I did not anticipate my out of pocket costs would be so high paying on my own.

I'll back up a bit. After I posted my intentions on Monday, I found a Groupon deal for a new chiropractor in my city that included an initial consultation, x-rays, and a second appointment with an adjustment. I purchased the deal, called the chiro's office, and they were able to get me in right away. I spent about an hour discussing my goals and literal pain points with the doctor. He took the x-rays and then performed a series of tests I didn't remember going through at my last chiropractor.

The first test involved rolling what felt like a back massager down my spine to perform a thermal scan, as high temperatures show where stress is building up in the body. Then, he used an electromyography device along different areas of my spine to measure how much energy my body is using to retain my posture. Finally, I was asked to place my hand on a device that measured my heart rate variability.

When the appointment was complete, the doctor scheduled me for a follow-up visit on Tuesday, and shared he would be emailing me the results of the tests to be discussed during the second visit. He shared that I shouldn't be alarmed at the overall "score" I was given on the test, and that we'd discuss appropriate treatment after he had a day to digest the results.

I shouldn't be alarmed? Just how badly did I do on the test? When I got home, the answer was already waiting in my Gmail inbox:

Image displays chiropractor "Core Score"
My overall score was a "55." That's a pretty solid "F." Apparently, I'm "Very Challenged."

Now, I know I'm in poor shape, but come on. I asked Google to see if anybody else had posted anything about "CoreScore." My initial thoughts were that these tests are designed to ensure that everybody "fails," putting the consumer in such a dire state of mind that they'll pay anything to get healthy again. But the few blog posts I found about it demonstrated that people do get results in the "Very Good" section, so my theory was voided.

So I went back to see Dr. Chiro on Tuesday, and we discussed his overall plan of care. The biggest surprise of the day?

My "rotated hips" are fine. The issue that drove me to go see a chiropractor in the first place doesn't even exist anymore, according to the x-rays. Hmm.

Still, he put me through a few adjustments, as well as some stretches and a little bit of traction to help my neck. He commented that my flexibility was pretty good, which was surprising to me because I've always felt a bit tight, but I'll take some positive news where I can get it. And I have to say, I felt so much better afterward. I still feel great two days later. Better than a massage, and I only needed to spend about 15 minutes on the chiro table.

So maybe there's a chiropractor out there who can help this "Very Challenged" individual for a lot less than $50 per appointment. Anybody in the Tampa Bay area have a recommendation?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Rotated Hips

I've had super tight hamstrings for as long as I can remember. In fact, I almost was not allowed to participate in high school sports (I did winter and spring track) because I always failed the required physical in this one area. But nobody told me what to do about it (I think "physical therapy" was thrown out there at one point), and they let me participate anyway. Great!

When I lived in New Jersey, I had excellent health insurance that covered chiropractic visits with a small copay. My chiropractor shared I had rotated hips, as he noted that when I laid flat on my stomach, one leg appeared shorter than the other. After a quick adjustment, things were aligned perfectly, and I'd go back twice a week to keep things in line. 

I have been thinking about this since my awesome yet strangely weird massage experience I had last Monday. My massage therapist noted it and tried to correct it for me, and I did feel a little bit better immediately after the massage. However, I definitely had some soreness in my left quad while running on Tuesday, so I don't think what she did had any lasting effect. 

Star Wars Han Solo wondering "WTF?"

So I'm thinking that - even though I'd still like to continue with monthly massage - I may be better served going back to a chiropractor more regularly. Unfortunately, my new health insurance isn't going to cover jack squat at a chiropractor, so I may need to free up some funds to try this new approach. We'll see how it goes for a little while - if no improvement, I'll get back on the massage train. 

In the meantime, I've been watching YouTube videos about stretches that can be done to help minimize the problem. If you have experienced this and have any other suggestions, please leave a comment and let me know what else I can do!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Scarred for Life

As I mentioned in this post, Monday night was monthly massage night for me. Although I had given some repeat business to East to West Massage over the last few months, I decided to try a new place based on a flyer I received from them in the mail. Their regular price for a massage is $29.99 - super cheap, no Groupon needed.

Everything started out as it normally does with massage. I was introduced to my therapist, Wendy, a tiny Asian woman who asked all the usual questions:
  • What kind of pressure do you like? (Medium to hard)
  • What are you looking to accomplish? (Relaxation)
  • Anything I should know about you? (I have a tender spot in my lower back that doesn't bother me unless someone presses on it. I first discovered it roughly ten years ago when my husband hugged me and it hurt). 
Usually, my massage therapist will take note and will discover the spot in question as they are working on me because I twitch pretty violently when they touch it. They'll then either ease up pressure or avoid it completely, which is fine by me. 

Except Wendy seemed really perplexed by this when she hit the magic spot. She had noticed one of two scars I have on my back, and asked for some background on it. I shared that in 2007, I had a mole there that had increased in size and I had it removed. The wound had been cauterized, but in 2011, the mole came back. It was removed again, and stitched appropriately. 

Wendy immediately said she wanted to break up the scar tissue.

I had no idea what this meant or what this had to do with my sore back because the scar isn't in the same spot as the tender area of my back. There was a bit of a language barrier, but from my understanding, she was suggesting that something in my body "remembered" this trauma and wasn't "ok" with it.

Star Wars Han Solo giving Luke Skywalker an incredulous look.
Whatever you say, lady.

As skeptical as I was, I let her know I was up for anything. So she proceeded to pull out an instrument that looked kind of like an electronic pen attached to some wires and explained she would be using alternating current to relieve the scar. "Like a TENS machine?" I asked? "Electromagnetic pulse?"

"Similar," she answered. "But alternating current is the same current the body uses." I didn't press her for further explanation, but I've had EMP treatment before and had good outcomes, so I acknowledged she could proceed with the treatment.

It wasn't until she turned the tool on (if anybody has any idea what I'm talking about and what this thing is called, please let me know in the comments) and it emitted a high pitch electronic noise that I started to get nervous, like I was going to be shocked awake like Frankenstein. I half expected my therapist to yell "It's alive!" when she applied the pen to my skin.

The feeling was very odd, though. It didn't hurt but I psyched myself out enough about it that I was absolutely uncomfortable and couldn't wait for it to be over. I was then annoyed that I was sacrificing about five to ten minutes of massage time for shock therapy.

Yet - after all was said and done - I actually felt better. Wendy tested out the spot on my back, and while not totally healed, it was definitely less twitchy.

So she continued with the massage, then commenting about how my hips were rotated. This has been another long-term pain point (literally) for me, one I used to see a chiropractor about. She attempted to correct it for me, but I was way too ticklish for it.

Of course, she had a solution for this as well. She asked permission to work on my ears, because - as she put it - "our ears are like the computers of our bodies. Fix them, fix everything else that's going wrong." Again...  I have no idea what that means. But I said "sure, why not?" because this could only just make a good massage story even better.

And then she pulled out that weird pen thing again and proceeded to light up five different spots on each of my ears. What was supposed to be a sixty-minute massage turned out to be about forty minutes of actual relaxation time and twenty minutes of torture.

I exaggerate. It really did NOT hurt, it was just very strange and very uncomfortable.

So here's the kicker...

I booked another appointment with Wendy next month.

Because as weird as being fried by a voltaic pen during a massage is, I have never felt better in the days following a massage as I have during this past week. Here's hoping she can effect permanent change in me.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Nature Show

Well, I may not be getting any faster during my weekly runs around the lake, but I can't say I'm not enjoying myself. It just makes me so happy to see nature at work in the wee hours before I have to log into my computer to do my own work. Things seen today include:

  • The otter! Like I said before, who can be sure if it's the same one my husband and I captured in this video, but I saw this guy swimming around today in roughly the same place with every lap I made around the lake. 
  • Snail murder. I saw a stork-like bird carrying a giant snail in his long slender bill and wondered exactly what he planned to do with it. The thing was way too big for him to swallow whole. I didn't have to wait long, though, as he put it down on the ground upside-down, raised his head high, then slammed his giant knife of a beak right into the fleshy part of the snail. It was quite barbaric, and I didn't stick around to see the rest of the show. 
  • A lady walking her cat... that was NOT the same lady and same cat that I usually see walking around the lake! Ok, much like the other lady, this one was actually walking her dog and was being followed closely by a small black and white tuxedo cat. I'm flabbergasted that more than one person has trained her cat to obediently follow her AND the cat's mortal enemy. I think if I were to take Kirbi on a walk with Joey, I'd never see her again. I might be ok with that.
  • And - of course - more baby animals. It's baby duck season around the lake and I just melt when I see tiny fluffy little ducklings. Today, I saw baby birds of a different type - it's hard to tell from the photo below, but Mom is on the right and has a red bill. Her chicks are fluffy and are pretty much all legs.  

Alright, I know I need to start giving more substantial posts besides "Things Seen While Running," but I can't help it. I just want to let everyone know how much fun I'm actually having while running these days, which is a far cry from where I was last year while training for the Star Wars and Avenger Half Marathons. I say this now because I'm not feeling a ton of pressure, although I'm not sure why as I only have five months until the St. Pete Run Fest. I think I'm just not that committed to sub 2 anymore. 

Anyway, this wasn't the post I intended to publish today. Last night was monthly massage night, and I've got another great story to share about it. No, nothing will ever be as epically awful as this particular massage I wrote about last year, but this one was definitely... out there. I'll publish that one tomorrow. 

But tonight was supposed to be Kickball night and - just like last week - I saw thunderstorms in the forecast and decided to tempt fate by going for a morning run just in case the game was canceled. And I was right yet again! Tomorrow morning, I'm heading back to the gym for arm day. Hopefully my kickball skills aren't deteriorating too rapidly with all of this bad weather we're having. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Not my week

It's been a bad week. I'm not sure what has sent me so far off my previous path, but I've definitely gone backwards. Today, I must course-correct. 

I've strayed from the Never Binge Again program. My inner pig got out of it's cage. I think he's back in there now, but I've gotta post extra sentries on watch. There is really no leeway for me to have eating free-for-alls again like I did this week. 

Because I've been eating things I have stayed away from in the last month, I've also felt exhausted. Whereas I used to easily wake up in the morning to get a workout done, I have been having a really hard time feeling motivated. My last real workout was my run on Tuesday, but I've been at least getting some walking in. 

Since I've been struggling both with food and exercise, I've lost some points this week on the Whole Life Challenge. There was also an additional component to the challenge this week to avoid social media and only check once each day. I do understand the rationale behind avoiding social media - it can be a time suck, and it can make you feel bad about yourself - but social media doesn't seem to have this impact on me (and when it does, I take a detox break). Facebook is actually a tool I use to coordinate my offline life, from connecting with teammates about our weekly kickball games to planning vacations with friends/family. So I decided to sacrifice WLC points in order to keep my social life alive. 

For example, I was supposed to have a day off of work today to hang out with my friends from Texas, who are in Orlando at Universal Studios with their family. I had been coordinating the meetup with them through Facebook. I was really looking forward to having a butterbeer with them, but a few things came up at work and I was disappointed that I had to cancel my plans. At least they're making their way to St. Pete to stay with me tomorrow night, so I won't totally miss catching up with them. 

Lastly, I noticed this week that the runDisney Tinkerbell Half Marathon registration has been postponed. It was supposed to happen later this month, but Disney quietly removed the registration info. 

Star Wars Kylo Ren having a tantrum.
My reaction when I saw the registration information was gone.
There's a rumor going around that the construction of a new resort out in Anaheim has really messed things up for runDisney races out there (which is why the Star Wars "Light Side" Half also does not have registration info yet). I am really hoping that they aren't totally cancelling the Tinkerbell race because it's on my bucket list, and I wanted to do it next year since I'm already doing the Princess Half. I really want that pink Coast to Coast challenge medal.

Anyway, although it was a bad week, I'm not going to dwell on it. Life is never going to be perfect, and I know it's a sign of my own inner strength that I've fallen so many times but continue to get back up and try again. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ninja Turtle

I probably shouldn't have gone running this morning. The odds were against me having a good run for a few reasons:
  • Yesterday was "Leg Day" at the gym. I usually don't work out at night, but I had to yesterday because I had a dentist appointment at 8am, which wasn't going to leave me with enough time to do my workout and get a shower in. I don't think I'm doing my leg workouts hard enough, though, because my legs felt just as fresh as any other day when I woke up this morning.
  • The weather hasn't been all that great here in "sunny" Florida. Rain ruined my weekend Disney plans, and it's continuing through this week. However, my weather app told me that rain was only a 35% probability between 6 and 10 am today, so I decided to take my chances. The humidity was pretty awful, though. 
  • Tuesday nights is typically kickball nights... and this week, my team was scheduled for a doubleheader. So normally, I wouldn't workout on a Tuesday morning because I've gotta be fresh to kick some balls.Yet with the rain in the forecast, I decided to take the risk and go for a run in the hopes that the games would be canceled (and, lucky for me, they were! I'd be pretty useless to the team tonight if they hadn't been).  
Despite having just worked out last night, fighting humidity, and being anxious about kickball tonight, I had a pretty decent run! My Mizunos are working out really well. And I got to see some cool things at the lake:

Saw a painted turtle while running

  • I'm pretty sure this turtle I found could out-run me. 
  • Remember when I saw a lady walking her cat? I think I ran into her husband, who was also walking a dog and was closely followed by the same cat. I will try to get some video of this next time because it's absolutely hilarious and adorable. 
  • Speaking of video, I also saw an otter! My husband captured video of this otter (or maybe it was his brother/mother/cousin... not sure how many otters live in this urban lake in Florida, but methinks it can't be that many...) on his cell phone two weeks ago when we went for a walk. I caught a really quick glimpse of this one swimming today, too quick to get another video. But if I can get my husband to post his otter video to YouTube today, I'll link to it here.
UPDATE: Here he is :)

I'm glad I'm back on a morning workout schedule for the rest of the week now and will head back to the gym for "Arm Day" tomorrow. I know it's Global Running Day tomorrow, but it's going to be raining here and I don't think it's wise for me to have back-to-back running days just yet. It's a bit too early in my half marathon training. 

I may be overdue for a rest day, but there's no such thing as a true "rest day" on the Whole Life Challenge - you have to do at least 10 minutes of exercise every day. I've been sprinkling in walking as active rest in order to get my points for the WLC.

If you're also doing the WLC, leave a comment and let me know how you are handling rest days. Are you active? Or are you just sacrificing points? I'd also love to hear how everyone is celebrating Global Running Day too!

Friday, June 2, 2017


It's National Donut Day again. Feels just like yesterday I was fighting the urge to stop at Krispy Kreme, Wawa, AND Dunkin' Donuts to take advantage of free donut offers.

Star Wars Stormtroopers eating donuts.
Well, let's be honest. I fight the urge to eat donuts every single day. Much harder to do when they are FREE!
Donuts are definitely not part of my meal plan on the Never Binge Again protocol. And they certainly aren't allowed on the Whole Life Challenge, an 8-week healthy living challenge I'm currently taking part in.

But I've decided to lose some points on the WLC and loosen up on my meal plan to take part in this annual "holiday." I just decided I was only going to indulge in ONE donut, not one at every single place that was offering free donuts... and Dunks' won out. I thoroughly enjoyed my indulgence, but I must cage my inner pig and get back on track immediately.

I'm otherwise kicking ass and taking names on the WLC. Well, sort of. I'm in first place on my team, which consists of my mom and my husband's family. They were the ones that invited me to participate, I think mostly because they wanted me to encourage HIM to participate. I couldn't get him to commit, though, and now I'm demolishing them all. /bragging. I don't think I'll be invited to participate in the next challenge.

I may be doing well on my team of ten, but compared to the rest of the world, I rank right around 3k out of the 14k people who are participating overall. So really, I'm doing kind of... meh.

A nice long run tomorrow should certainly undo the donut damage I did today. I've got a brand new pair of kicks I'm sporting these days*:

Mizuno Wave Inspire 13

If you've been following me for a while, you might remember I've been married to my Saucony Hurricanes for a long time now. When I went shoe shopping this past weekend, however, I tested out the current model and was not thrilled. My local shoe expert suggested I go with Brooks Adrenaline instead, but I was hesitant because that was the shoe I was using years ago when I experienced some knee issues. So he then laced up a pair of these Mizuno Wave Inspire 13s for me, and I decided to give it a go.

I broke them in with 10k steps around Disney on Sunday to check out the new "Pandora" world at Animal Kingdom, and then ran 5 miles in them yesterday. I think they are going to work out just fine. We'll see how a longer run goes tomorrow.

*Amazon Affiliate Link. This means that if you click any of the links to Amazon through my site and buy something, I may earn a commission. Much obliged.