Thursday, January 31, 2008

Running and Aarwenn: Fighting

It happened. I went on my run yesterday--at four minutes of running and three minutes of walking, this week--and I anticipated that it would be easy, as I was basically doing four minutes of running last week.

Well. Pride goeth before a fall, not literally in this case, but certainly my lungs felt like collapsing. Wednesday was an extremely windy day here in Seattle, and I had a hard time catching my breath. Not only that, but I ATE before I jogged--nothing serious, just a few crackers and tahini and a piece of chocolate--but I think even a little food is too much. The body tries to digest and exercise at the same time, and it's not possible. I ate because I have a fear, instilled in me by several years of experience, that I'll suddenly run out of calories, get light-headed, and pass out, something that has only happened once or twice in my life, but has almost happened at least a dozen times.

Taking the vegetable broth fast, however, seemed to practically sure me of this, an unexpected but very welcome side effect. For years I held on to the fact that my blood sugar was irregular, welcomed the sudden pressing needs to eat and the occasional light-headedness. I thought it made me look exotic, fragile, feminine, and might even require the purchase of a fainting couch one day, a great excuse to buy such an item. And when eating several small meals came into vogue a few years ago, I blended in much more with society, and eating every three hours no longer seemed odd.

Well. I'm done with looking fragile and exotic, if indeed that was how I appeared in the first place. Much more likely that I appeared whiny and high-maintenance, and I was constantly obsessed with food; I had to bring food with me everywhere, I always had snacks, and I was loathe to leave any food behind in case I wanted it later, so I was constantly carrying around bits of sandwich in huge boxes that would collapse and spill, half-full yogurts that I would have to choke down before boarding aircraft while the LT held all my bags and contemplated leaving my behind...well, behind, and so on. Drinking coffee and alcohol, too, seemed more treacherous; sometimes I'd metabolize it well, other times one cup of coffee or wine would either have me climbing walls or snoring and drooling.

I'm not sure if the vegetable broth weekend had any affect, or if it's more likely that five days to myself--not planned out, just happened--gave me some time to meditate on what was important to me and what kind of person I wanted to be, not to put too formal a spin on it. No matter the cause, I now find myself less obsessed with food. I eat it when I'm hungry, I don't eat it when I'm not. I seem to metabolize caffeine better, especially since I also weaned myself off of caffeine during that time. It's really not exciting to anyone but me, but I feel...more whole. More calm. Less fidgety and obsessive.

Now if I can just remember to not eat before running.

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