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Running Is Bad For You

Trying to maintain your health is not always easy. You need to get exercise, stretch, eat right for your body type, fill your mind with positive thoughts, and take care of your soul and spirit.

It is a tall order.

This past year has really worn me down. I haven't been able to take care of myself the way I would like. Eating is been a real mystery with all the medication. Read that gained weight. The steroids have been brutal. Not to mention they have ruined my eyesight. I see an eye surgeon tomorrow.

It is depressing, very depressing.

I spend every morning trying to talk myself into doing everything. I have all these possibilities I should do, need to do, and even things that could be fun to do. I just keep waiting for my headache to go away.

It never does.

On a good day, I get showered and dressed by 10 am. Other days the goal moves to 4 pm. I believe running kept me strong for all the surgery that I have had. The problem? Running and chronic pain are just not friends. Some days it feels like running is bad for you.

But I can't seem to stop.

Want to know the real reasons that running is bad for you? It's addictive. According to MediLexicon International, these are the symptoms of addiction. I am adapting them to running.

The person cannot stop - because it will kill your race time. DUH!
Increased appetite
 – I finally got my movement to equal my intake. I have to run 50 miles a week.
Taking an initial large dose - Starting the race too fast. Running without a warm up.
Insomnia - a common symptom of addiction also known as pre-race jitters. The bigger the race, the sooner it starts.
Continues despite health problems - taking a cast off to run 5 miles, not listening to all sorts of pain etc.
Social and/or recreational sacrifices - You don't run, you don't understand.
Maintaining a good supply - Fortunately there is plenty right outside the front door. The higher quality stuff is at races.
Risky behavior - the addicted individual take risks to make sure they can obtain their substance, by stealing or trading sex for money or running shoes.
Risks while under the influence - the addict may engage in risky activities, such as hugging people they don't know at the finish line or taking runs with people they have never met from Facebook groups.
Dealing with problems - an addicted person commonly feels they need their drug to deal with their problems. Running cures everything.
Obsession - an addicted person may spend more and more time and energy focusing on ways to make time for running, travel for running and to improve their performance.
Secrecy and solitude - in many cases the addict may hide new shoes from their significant other or register for races on their anniversary weekend. Run alone without music.
Denial - actually, no runner has a problem. Not even a little one.
Withdrawal symptoms - one word: marathon tapering! OK, two. Anger, resentment, food. Did I mention food?
Excess consumption - run streaks, marathons, ultras, back-to-back half marathons, 3- and 4-way challenges, there is just not enough running.
Blackouts - cannot remember chunks of time. In particular, how you felt after the marathon when signing up for the next one.
Having stashes - GUs, Stingers, protein bars, and shoes. It seems hoarding is a side-effect of running.
Having problems with the law - this is a symptom of impaired judgment. Not stopping for crossing signals, running on the wrong side of the road during races, indecent exposure while relieving yourself in public - the list goes on.
Financial difficulties - shoes, race fees, travel expenses, RnR memberships. The cost of running is daunting.
Relationship problems - they just don't understand. I’ll find a runner.
Dropping hobbies and activities - progressive addiction may stop doing things he/she used to enjoy such as running for fun.

Thanks for your support.

10 Reasons You’re Not at Your Ideal Weight

Last week I was struggling. You know, life has been a bit of a ride this last year. I posted a link to an article on chronic pain and depression. I was expressing my current condition. I felt challenged by a couple of commenters. Normally I don't engage with nameless-faceless-russian-troll-twatwaffles. 

Nevertheless, a couple of comments struck a chord with this old fat guy.

However, before I begin, I have a question. What is an expert? Is it someone with education? Is it some with experience? Is it someone with results? Maybe an expert is nothing more than a good leader, or a good example? Maybe a blend of all of this? A college professor once said, "an expert is an 'ex,' something that used to be, and 'spurt,' a drip."

So this week I am going to write about why this expert is not at my ideal weight.

-1 The most important reason is I apparently don't have a calorie deficit.
-2 I don't use a food scale.
-3 I don't read nutrition labels.
-4 I don't get enough exercise.
-5 I don't have a dog to walk.
-6 I still have junk food in the house.
-7 I lost my mojo.
-8 I don't watch calories eating out.
-9 I have seconds when the food is good.
-10 I eat when I am stressed or depressed.

I do have a valid doctor's note saying that I need to take it easy until the nerves in my head heal and reconnect after the cutting and hacking. In fact, I have no more treatment possibilities until I am 6 months post-surgery. If I am still in chronic pain, they will fit me with a neurostimulator. I also have a prescription for tons of steroids, anticonvulsants and antidepressants - you know the weight-gain type. But those would be excuses, and I am not okay with excuses.

In other news, thanks to a huge BM, I lost 4.1 pounds in 6 days! It was actually only took about 30 seconds.

Thanks for the votes and comments. Oh, and a special thanks to my fierce protectors!

Excuses, excuses, excuses...

Is it me, or just the posts that I happen to read? I have read some pretty creative excuses for falling off the wagon, overeating, and not succeeding at learning to eat healthy and exercise 3 times a week.

People are pretty lazy. That is my perspective.

I am at the top of the list. I have a million excuses for not losing and maintaining my weight. Since last year, I am up over 20 pounds. Seriously, I have lots of good reasons - I mean excuses. Currently I am considered a chronic pain sufferer and I have been going to pain management. I just read this article about pain vs motivation/depression. I am doing my best, but it has been hard - harder than before.

Even the one committed to cardio has excuses (and motivation issues).

I had a heart trauma in April '11, and what I heard afterwards was this: 57% of those that have had a heart attack don't even continue to take their medication after the first refill! Worse, almost 80% make no significant lifestyle changes!

If you are telling yourself there is some reason you cannot lose weight or can't get cardio in, you probably won't!

I don't have time. - If it was going out to dinner you probably would. Look you have time for lots of things, you need to schedule it. If working out is not in your calendar, it is unlikely that you'll win at this game.

I still have time. - You may be young enough where your food and lack of exercise is not a problem, but for most it doesn't work forever - especially past 40. Yeah, I know about your grandmother that drank a case of beer and smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, only ate fried food, dated 5 men at a time and lived until 145. Let me know if you make it.

Everyone in my family is fat. - Why is that? Could it be diet and exercise?

It's a cheat day. - Get out your stones and excuses about shaking up your metabolism blah blah blah. The truth is that cheaters are in the group of roller coaster dieters, from which nearly all of them eventually gain back the weight they lost the other 6 days a week.

I have kids. - Yeah, so take them for a run. I take my 11-year-old walking, running, riding bikes, rollerblading, every chance I get. We plan vacations near bike trails so we can ride. When she was a baby, we just put her in the front pack, or bicycle trailer. My YMCA has kids care as well.

I'm too busy. - Well, health is a choice; it might be time to make it.

The dog/kangaroo didn't eat it. - If you are full at the restaurant, you'll be tempted to eat whatever you bring home before lunch the following day. If that is the case, leave it.

I don't know what to do. - I don't know about you, but most of us here do not have degrees in health and nutrition. MFP is a good guideline for the amount of food, and balance of what we call macros: carbs, protein and fat. Here's a tip, if it is low-cal junk food, its still junk food. Cardio which is truly healthy is when the heart rate goes above 120. This requires walking at 3 mph or possibly higher.

It's too hard to lose weight, I've already tried. - You are correct, and you've proved it. That is why you need to forget dieting. You make changes you can do for the rest of your life.

I can't afford healthy food. - I will agree that a variety of healthy food costs more. Here are some tips for saving money. Drink only water, it's free. Many grocery stores have fruits and veggies that are discounted because they are past fresh: we buy 6 apples for a dollar, 2 peppers for half a buck, and 3 bananas for even less. Over all we find them to be a good value. Brown rice is the same price as white and far better. You'll be eating less, usually 3-4 ounces of meat or fish. You can buy packaged ham and cheese in bulk and freeze it. The same is true for some fruits and veggies. Frozen food isn't horrible, and most canned food can be rinsed to reduce sodium content.

It's too late.  - I'm already _____ years old. - Yup, and tomorrow you be that plus one day. I don't get it.

I'm afraid of failure. - I have met a few folks on MFP that have a lot weight to lose (me I was close to 100). It is a daunting task, and it takes time. Read the Success Story forums and friend those folks who have done what you need to do. I find it inspiring. On average, those that work at it can lose 40-100 lbs in a year. (Yes, I am sure there are some with medical reasons who cannot and I am not talking about them.)

I'm afraid of success! - Being obese for a long period of time becomes a way of life. We set up our enablers, buy cars, furniture and even our personality changes to accommodate our physical state. I sat with a guy the other day that could not fit in the booth at a lunch place. It was sad. Then he ordered a 3000 calories steak bomb.

My significant other doesn't care why should I? - Most mature adults are smart enough not say "I would love you better thinner!" I suppose there are some that have spouses that like them in an unavailable state, but for the most part, our health is our concern. Losing weight has many benefits other than just looking and feeling better.

I can't exercise, there's no place for me to walk/run. - We need to start where we stand. The goal is eating well, and getting in three 30 minute cardio session a week in which we get the heart rate over 120. You can walk in place, by home gym resistance bands, and an array of other things. I bet you can find a treadmill on Craigslist for cheap!

I love to eat. - Yup, me too. I am just enjoying eating better, and less.

I do a lot of traveling for work and find it hard to stick to my weight loss plan. - It is not an easy task to eat out all the time, but many places I have stayed at had a refrigerator and a grocery store nearby.

I've heard that running puts me at risk for knee problems and arthritis later in life. LOL, that's BS. But you can try swimming, use the elliptical or riding a bike.

I Have Bad Knees (bad ankles, bad hips, bad a$$): From here it looks like they can get you back and forth from the store, the bathroom and the refrigerator.

It's just one. - One breakfast muffin is equal to two 30 minute cardio sessions.

It's the holidays. - So? The Bermuda Triangle: Thanksgiving Christmas and New Years. (Or Memorial Day, the 4th and Labor Day.) Flag Day, the dog’s birthday. There are lots of holidays!

I don't cook my own meals. - It's hard to control what others do. I made an agreement with my wife over what I was willing to eat each week. Communication helps, and filling up with a large snack before meals is also another option. If you eat half a bag of baby carrots, you are probably not going to chow down on the fried chicken.

I Have Slow Metabolism: Right, and if your body was a car, it would be in reverse. Personally, mine hit a speed bump at age 40 and broke the steering column.

My Parents didn’t Teach me How to Eat: - Are you kidding, have you looked in the mirror? You are probably good at eating, in fact very good! For God’s sake, birds manage to get south.

It’s Vacation: One of my personal favorites, lots of eating out, and lying around (actually that sounds more like work too). Staying in the hospital is not a vacation.

I Don’t Like Healthy Food: Let me know when the pity party is over. Trust me; you are not going to like heart failure either.

It’s Emotional: WTH? It’s food, nothing else.

I Can Eat Anything I Want! Apparently.

I’ll Start Over Tomorrow: It’s here, now what?

Water Makes Me Gag! Well I guess it’s a good thing you are not a dolphin.

How about you, can you share some your most creative excuses for staying the way you were?

Disclaimer: Look, there are people who have legitimate medical reasons for being where they are. However; if you can get out of bed, you can probably begin to exercise. Seeing as diet is probably 90% of weight loss, you can make better choices.

A quick health update. 2 months post surgery my pain level has dropped from 6-10 with nauseating flares, to 3-6 with occasional dizziness and nausea. At least I am not in bed almost all day. The neurosurgeon said< "This could take as long as 2 years to heal. And... Let's face it, you may never be pain free. We'll do everything we can to keep you comfortable."

Thanks for the votes, comments and friend requests, I very much appreciate them.
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