I met with my Registered Dietician (RD) last Thursday after many a rescheduled appointment.
I have to say, if you've never sat down with an R.D., stop what you're doing, stop reading this blog, and go make an appointment. Get 4 sessions, and trust me.
The last time I met with my RD, I had brought her a food diary from about a week to two weeks of eating. I'm fairly meticulous with writing down what I eat, so that was the easy part. We talked about my goals, my life style, and some general rules, then she asked me to write down the emotional feelings I had every time I ate until our next meeting.
While that went out the window when I got busy, I did make note of my emotions while eating enough that this picture became clear:
- I woke up not hungry (even before and after a morning workout), got the office and wanted a cup of coffee, no food. Halfway into my coffee, I wanted to eat my desk and the hunger came out of no where.
- I ate again around 10:30 because I was starting to get the munchies. Usually a piece of fruit cured this.
- Since my team tends to eat together at noon, I was never hungry at the beginning of lunch. The hunger picked up halfway through lunch, then I finished ready for a food coma nap.
- 3:30 I get bored and want to snack. Has to be a slow to eat food--popcorn, grapes, anything that requires time to eat.
- Not hungry when I get home and especially not hungry after I workout. At all. I have to force myself to eat after a workout. But about an hour after my workout, again I am ready to destroy an entire pizza.
My RD and I went through discussing that pattern and it basically followed exactly what she suspected/had seen in my food log:
I'm not eating enough. Hi, shocker! I'm a really big proponent of calories in, calories out for weight loss and while it still holds through, I'm highly active and not fueling my body to that level. Am I starving myself? No, but is my body going "eh, let's not burn off that fat, we're a little worried about our caloric intake?" in a word, yes. It sounds a lot more like a bad thing than it actually is.
Think about your body as a car. Let's say that the gas tank can fuel for the energy needed for exactly 1 day, plus a little bit of top-off fuel. When you wake up in the morning (start your car) without eating breakfast, you're essentially running on fumes till you hit the gas station (first meal). If you're like me and try to get in a few morning workouts, you're running on fumes, then pushing your car to the gas station if you fail to eat before hand.
Of course, you want to fill up the gas tank all the way (stuffing yourself). Same thing happens if you decide to put in more miles in a day than your gas tank can hold (second workout) and you wind up filling up again before you take your car home and putting it in the garage.
Essentially, I burn on fumes, over load on food, get really tired, burn all my food off again, then eat a ton or not at all, then pass out and repeat. My consumption looked more like a tiny hill followed by a valley, then a big hill, a steep valley, a little hill, then a huge hill, then right back down and repeat.
My R.D. says that I need to fuel before and after my workouts and definitely eat a breakfast and fuel through my day.
I don't have the papers in front of me, but she outlined the amount of stuff I need to be getting in these food groups:
It's a LOT of food. I know she was thinking that I'd be mentally tabbing up the calories from a sample meal, so she said something that I guess I knew in the back of my mind, but hadn't actually fleshed out into full thought.
I might have been eating the right amount of calories, but the nutrients? Who knows. I mean, what do you REALLY get out of a 100 calorie pack of chocolate pretzels? Probably not much. So we turned the attention to what kind of calories I was actually eating. Cutting out a lot of prepackaged frozen junk and turning to "whole" foods.
While I'll be eating a lot more food, I'll probably be eating the right amount of calories, with all the nutrients. I added milk back into my diet, which hasn't been there in years. My stomach and I are still trying to decide how this is going to work out, but it has been nice to induldge in a big frothy glass of milk, especially post workout for the perfect blend of carbs and protein (and it cuts off that huge hunger pang I have about an hour post workout).
I'll post the sample menu that my RD gave me when I get home.
We also talked about setting SMART goals. I think I've talked about smart goals, so I won't go there again, but if you're interested, just google it. We wound up setting two SMART goals for me with three supporting goals.
I'll post those, too, when I get home so I make sure I have them down right.
So far, so good. I'm on 5 of eating more like the way we discussed and I feel really full all the time and I have energy. Double win.
In totally different news,
The Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run was this weekend. This was my second 10 Miler, my first one, I came in with like a 1:26 something because I was running with my friend, Maureen, from work and she pushed the hell out of me. This year, by total accident, I ran into her among 15,000 people. We wound up running together again, all the time pushing the other by total accident. We each thought we were slowing up the other, so we kept pushing and pushing and pushing. Before I knew it, we'd crossed 4, just after mile 5, I saw Chadd where I handed off my jacket, then 6, then 7 (oh man, just a 5k left), then suddenly 8 and we only had about 17 minutes left to endure. Then 9 went by and holy moly there was a hill. Maureen put the pedal to the medal, and amazingly, my legs kept up with her. We crested the hill to see the arches were not exactly right around the bend. Falling back a bit, we tried to pick up the pace again and flew through the finish line.
Time: 1:21:29; Pace: 8:09
And just like that, another PR this year.
I can tell you that one of the most beautiful sounds to me in the world is the sound of silence and a thousand runners shoes hitting the pavement all around you.