A Thought in the Life.. A Peek Into a Day of Thoughts for Those with an Unhealthy Relationship with Food & Fitness

*trigger warning

It’s a daily battle with the very thing that keeps us alive: FOOD. The way we take care of our bodies isn’t rational any longer and a paralyzing fear and anxiety takes grip.

Much of the following is probably hard to hear and grasp for those that face different battles, yet I think it’s important for people to get a glimpse of the reality that people with an unhealthy relationship with food & fitness face, especially for those in support roles. In italics I’ve added the way that God has redeemed my thinking and how mental health, food, and fitness play a role in my life now, not to disregard the fact that sometimes those lies of the past still creep in and God has to come in a rescue with His truths.

The following is just ONE example – we could flow chart this thing in a thousand ways based on the day and activity level of work and other commitments. The other thing to note is that with different people come different areas of Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders, but regardless the mind is powerful and there isn’t one size fits all of suffering, but God does have a one size fits all plan of GRACE.

*Disclaimer: Days are spent trying to not think about food – and yes you are ALWAYS hungry – and find distractions, keep away from food and try to will yourself not to binge. Healing is possible, but it takes TIME.

The alarm goes off, you roll over and check messages & emails, brush your teeth and then the day begins and you settle into the every day of the anxiety that encompasses food & fitness…

5:30a – please let me sleep more so I can avoid becoming my minds own worst nightmare today.. this was genuinely a regular thought for me, I was scared of waking up to my own mind.

5:40a – Do I grab a cracker or two before workout or wait until afterwards – don’t want to eat too much too early… today the thoughts shift to : how can I fuel myself best for the day ahead?

6:40a – How can I prolong this workout a little more to avoid the kitchen and give myself more room to eat in case I fall into a binge? … 30 minutes of moving is great (even if it’s just walking). If I feel like more a couple days a week that’s great also, and if I just want the extra sleep it means my body needs it and I can go for a walk later.

7:00a – How can I make the most food with as little calories as possible in case food surprises are available later… how can I get as many nutrients on my plate as possible without overdoing it – egg & veggie scramble with fruit salad and/or avocado & egg toast?

9:00a – Snack or ignore the growling in my stomach – just drink more coffee and/or tea… first ask am I really hungry, then, what nutrient is my body really telling me it needs?

11:00a – Just give me a distraction until 12p… just keep busy, just keep busy, ignore my stomach, sink further into anxiety… (it’s regular for food to consume 80%+ of your thoughts in a day) I’m hungry a little early today what’s for lunch, or if I have plans eat something small (like an apple)

12:00p – Lunch time. Do I want a carb with this meal, I know Mexican is for dinner and those chips will be tempting… same rules apply to breakfast – nutrients galore without overdoing it – but you want that burrito – keep it simple & clean and enjoy 

2:00p – Hey the growling is back – if I can just wait until 3p for a snack… usually Im not hungry here if i have fueled myself properly for the day..

3:00p – Snack time – do I really want a bar that has 200 calories or try to do more food simply… I’m still trying to get some extra protein and fat – how can I best get my body that today – quest bar! 

5:00p – Mexican bar for dinner – mild panic – no snacking and probably no dessert, just one serving of chips and you probably should forgo the meat in case you eat one to many… I’m a little hungry I’ll grab something small and it will be fine, I can make adjustments as needed based on how I feel. 

6:00/6:30p – It’s time, try to engage people and not think about the food, you can do this. Don’t binge, don’t binge, don’t binge… unfortunately this is still a reality for me that I am working through, however my process of the after affects depending has dramatically changed. One major area of improvement is having accountability if I feel like I am struggling.

7:00p – I binged and now feel completely terrible both physically and mentally… no food for me tomorrow and a run over an hour… If I want a few extra it’s okay, I can handle it and if it goes too far, I have someone to talk through it with instead of letting simmer in my mind. I’ll workout based on how I feel and what I rationally think my body needs. 

8:00p – Just get to sleep without putting anything else in my mouth – sleep aids sometimes are taken here to try to shut down early to escape the night… a small thing of trail mix or piece of peanut butter toast will satisfy any extra craving, then I can step away and read a book and/or do a pre-bedtime yoga/stretch routine before bed! 

Part of it is learning how to take hold of your thoughts and shift the perspective before you ever give it a second thought, but that takes prayer and practice.

If you sit in a place as a support system or caretaker, we don’t enjoy dealing with this and we often feel guilty for dragging you into it even though we KNOW you love and are there, but we hope you find this insightful into a day in the life.

If you’ve dealt with things like me or are still in the midst of the storm I would love to talk more @ jordan@creativekitchenrunner.blog as always, the team I have around me including my friends and family, fitness community (The November Project, Big Peach Running, and Oiselle), and my favorite fueling products (Nuun, Quest, Honey Stinger) make all the difference!

For now,
Jordan

 

Finding the Like-Minded, In the Large Groups

Icebreakers can be a worst nightmare while simultaneously the greatest joy. That might sound odd, and quite an over exaggeration to say that life change can happen through those 30 second round robin questions.  But that is where this is headed, so hang on…

In a culture plagued by distraction and commitments that honestly don’t mean much it’s fairly easy to disengage whenever things get busy or uncomfortable, and that’s exactly where I found myself a little over a year ago a few days before The 61 Exchange Atlanta Conference. My health being my highest priority, but other distractions playing their part it almost didn’t happen. I’m so thankful I listened to that Spirit whispering to go despite being energy deficient and my head being full of unhealthy things.

This is where things helped shift the past year…

I am that person that STRONGLY dislikes the 30 second meet-the-people-around-you-before-you-sit-down moments at church so sitting at a table of random strangers set off those same triggers of anxiety, but numero uno: IT IS WORTH IT.

It’s worth it to just show up and face it head on. You might be scared out of your mind, having convinced yourself it’s going to be the same as everything else where you might meet someone and then never speak again OR go to coffee once but long-haul relationships never happen. However, YOU NEVER KNOW.

Enter Chelsea.

This girl I recognized but had never plummeted into the deep with, sat next to me at one of these conference tables. You have to trust that the Lord has got this and will put people together as he’s chooses. She was bubbly and friendly and we got to talking quickly, a year later she’s one of my biggest cheerleaders and most trusted confidants. Why? Because our stories are similar. Body Image issues and the battle of the mind and our relationship with food have held too high a value for both of us, but through that God paves a way for our paths to intersect and you find the people that can fight for and with you!

And this holds true for WHOEVER and WHATEVER. Whether it’s anxiety or depression, or addiction; infertility or sexual assault. We are all broken and all of us have been in the fire in one form or another. It’s taking the step to find those who are on the battle lines close to you.

In Chelsea’s words: “Idk what I’d add – maybe just that it’s so great to meet people who, following a bigger gathering, you can continue staying connected with. I think the constant encouragement has been what’s most sweet. So it’s like the conference paves the way, but once we get out into life together that’s when the real friendship, healing, good stuff happens.”

So if you are considering, but hesitant just go ahead and say yes – give it a shot and truly commit, because you really never know. We all need cheerleaders who have walked a similar road.

And maybe the 61 Exchange

To sign up: The 61 Exchange Atlanta, GA Conference – August 11th!

OR The 61 Exchange Ft. Meyers Beach, FL Conference – September 7th!

Details on Washington, D.C. coming soon!

For more info on Chelsea – chelseaperson.com

And as always if you have any questions you can email me any time at jordan@creativekitchenrunner.blog

Happy Weekend!

Jordan

 

 

 

 

Turning Point Power & Finding What’s Best for YOU!

Here is your disclaimer right off the bat: you know your body better than anyone else, you know what makes it come alive and what doesn’t (He has made you with specific passions), and if you are having trouble figuring any of that out or mental struggling with who YOU are message me jordan@creativekitchenrunner.blog I would love to chat! But here is a little bit about finding on-the-go snacks that helped change the conversation and fueled my body with what it needed:

5 weeks ago it finally clicked.

As a fighter of Mental Health when it comes to fitness & nutrition as well as a competitive athlete I couldn’t pull myself over the hump. After several months of trying this that and the other on the journey of getting back to healthy, gaining a good bit, and starting to shift my head to healthier thinking, I was in a rut. I knew I could physically continue by adding loads of carbs and sugar, but as a competitive athlete with low body fat that isn’t what I wanted to do to my body and knew it wasn’t the healthiest thing for my head. I wanted well rounded nutrition including fats and protein in unison with the carbohydrates that allowed me to feel confident and excited, not forced and exasperated.

Intro: Quest Nutrition., and lot’s of prayer…

I had heard about Quest before, and my General Manager at Big Peach Running Co, raved about them, but with an unhealthy mindset at the time I didn’t want another high calorie bar shoved in my face. HOWEVER, at the Hotlanta Half (go check it out – it’s one of my favorites) I decided to give it a shot after getting free samples at their tent. FIVE weeks later I’ve been able to put on more weight, and am competing at my best after two weeks ago breaking 20min in the first 5K of the Peachtree road race, and just being shy of breaking 40 minutes in the entirety of the race and placing better than I could have ever imagined.

BUT it’s not just the physical results that are encouraging and motivating, it’s the mental game that I no longer get anxious about eating protein bars, or that I’m going to feel terrible afterwards. The language is shifting in my story from anxious to confident, because of 1. Jesus first and 2. Brands that help you reach your specific goals towards getting back to healthy! It’s both a physical and mental journey that take time to relearn fueling yourself in order to make the most of the things that fill you with joy and passion – the uniqueness that He has made you so beautifully in! 

And I so want that for YOU. It’s not easy, it’s an every single day, but like I said in my last post find the people that will come alongside you and take that baby step TODAY!

SO how can YOU find the right fit? Here are 3 ways to start:

  1. Find out what your body needs and what makes it feel best! That means some experimenting.
    • We all know the diet trends > gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, Whole30, but EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT, and there will never be a one size fits all. Maybe you do have celiacs and gluten is a big NO, maybe you are lactose intolerant or don’t eat meat, maybe you just want to try a few things to see if it makes you feel worse or better – DO THAT. Try things and take notes on how your body reacts
    • NEVER stop being a student of yourself.
  2. Write down your goals.
    • Maybe you eat cheese 6x a day and you want to cut back on dairy – check out supplements that accommodate that, but have healthy carbohydrates and protein. RXBar is a great example of this! Or maybe you just want all around more protein to help with muscle building – you can check out Quest or RxBar.
  3. Research!
    • While there is no one size fits all, there are several companies that I love because of the clean ingredients that they use. Larabar, Kind Snacks, and RxBar are great ideas for clean eating, but they also have sugar from the fruits and berries they use. So, just look around see what might be a good fit there are so many options for on-the-go snacks will give you what you specifically need.
    • Of course not ever replacing the nutrition of raw foods, keep those first and foremost.

So what do I love:

Question Nutrition of course! And there is still time to save during Prime Day here.

Nuun Hydration! This might be for hydration but I can never NOT talk about them for their clean ingredients and the way I always feel refreshed.

RxBar: my go to snacker on the run – mostly because you can find me at Sbux and they stock them there – snag the Prime Day goods here

I hope this is helpful to you! Take your time and let things come as they may. Take notes, and always always remember the truths about who the Father says you are!

Jordan

 

 

 

 

 

Getting to Healthy & the Hands that Help

You are not alone. Maybe you need to read that 100 times to even start believing it, and if thats what it takes the rest of this blog post can wait, it’s on the internet it’s here forever.

Jon and I were sitting out on the porch outside our apartment when my phone rang, it was my mom. Answering it as usual since this wasn’t uncommon, her voice sounded more serious than normal. Her and my dad were on the other side as the four of us sat on the speaker about to dive in to a conversation that helped redirect my unhealthy course of taking “health” too far.  Starting to talk through the things that could help me come back to healthy was at times hard and uncomfortable but completely necessary.

You have to start by being okay having those conversations with those that love you.

HONESTY TIME: Around the time we got married three years ago I was heavier than I would have liked to be post swimming career and just getting into the running scene. When I got our wedding album back and realized just how far it had gotten everything changed, except this change was far too drastic. March of 2017 the weight had come off two-fold. When I came to the realization of how far I had let myself dive in to this lifestyle – it was devastating. Tearful and angry at myself and incredibly strong willed. why couldn’t I just flip a switch and it would fine? In my mind (which was skewed at the time) I believed it wouldn’t be that hard, but a few months passed with very little progress, and I realized this wasn’t something I could do alone.

So maybe you should stop right here… maybe the conversations have started but you are still trying to face it headfirst, on your own and you’re exhausted with little change; maybe you need to realize that the burden you are carrying is just too heavy, and that you were so sure of your independence that you forgot you have a Heavenly Father who wants you to be dependent on Him. And part of that is allowing your community and/or finding a community to come alongside you. 

So stepped in my parents who helped me build a strong community with a fountain of knowledge on all things fitness, nutrition, and all around mental & physical health. There were things I could have NEVER known for myself, and that’s likely true in whatever health or any type of challenge YOU may be facing!

My team was top. I honestly could never thank them enough. The people who called the darkness into light and helped get me on the train towards healthy were a rock. Even in the ugly conversations God used them to help reshape my future, and maybe more importantly – to give me one. Emotional, Mental, and Physical Health isn’t something to be taken lightly, it’s what allows us to walk out our purpose and calling and be the version of us He created and desires for us to be!

INVITE THEM IN. YOU AREN’T A BURDEN. YOU ARE LOVED CHILD OF GOD.

Now let’s talk about YOUR people, your community, your team, and if you are those people I want to encourage you also:

It’s okay to ask, it’s ok to speak up and let them know you are worried, and it’s okay to not have words to say and you just have to be. One of my close friends ended a conversation about where I was with the comment, “I didn’t know if I could ask or say something”. This was close to a year ago, but the comment has resonated with me. The person you love might not be ready to hear or deal with it, but it is ALWAYS ok to say something and ask questions for the sake of the ones you love. It also might be exactly what they needed to hear.

This stuff is messy. And it’s ok to be scared and it’s ok to be loud whoever you are – in the midst of battle or supporting and fighting alongside them. Community is important and YOU MATTER!

Wherever you fall or if you just want to tuck some of this away for anything in the future – here are a few resources:

  1. National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) – this is a GREAT place to start if you have questions or concerns or are reaching out for help. Even if you don’t have the exact symptoms there are some great resources!
  2. Ilana Katz – Dietician – if you want to start getting some step by step coaching (in Atlanta)
  3. Run Fast Eat Slow – I’ve linked this before, but it is a great resource for healthy and mindful cooking, as well as how to think about food with a healthy lens!

**Also note I am writing this from the perspective of fitness, nutrition, and mental health, but it can be applied in so many ways**

I hope this encourages you to take steps on one side or the other if you find yourself in a similar situation.

We are all in this thing called life together, let’s encourage and love the best we can.

Jordan

 

The Kitchen Part of KitchenRunner…

Allie Kieffer is an inspiration.

In the latest article about her posted on Runner’s World (click here) she talks about her weight battle, and the beauty of gaining weight as an elite runner currently placing and running faster than ever. One aspect I’m digging in this article is the idea of not worrying about the calories, but the idea of putting as many nutrients on your plate as possible. You’ve probably heard a million times that a more colorful plate is a better plate, but what does that actually look like?

Olympian Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky have this amazing cookbook called “Run Fast, Eat Slow” (you can buy it here), and a new release coming August 15th called “Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow” (you can preorder it here). These are GREAT resources on how to truly NOURISH your body, not just eat in moderation, or carb load before a race or long run, but give your body the best nutrients it can with each meal. This makes the nutrition side of the mental journey that much easier as you begin to build discipline.

Mentally I’ve struggled with obsessing over numbers and intake and food groups, oh my! But all of ladies are helping shift thinking, training, and the conversation in the best ways!

So want a few ideas? Here is a breakfast, lunch, and dinner idea w/ the nutrients below:

Breakfast: 

  • 1 small banana with a 1/2 tbsp of peanut butter
  • 1/2 Everything Bagel (because I’m now obsessed with it)
  • 2 egg (1 egg white,  1 whole) scramble with veggies – I usually add onion, tomato, green pepper and garlic, sea salt and pepper.

**Nutrients: 62g Carbs, 6g Fat, 9g Fiber, 17g Protein, plus 450 g of Potassium, 20 mg of Calcium, and a small source of other major vitamins.

Lunch:

  • Berry Summer Salad w/ 2 cups greens, 1/2c mixed berries, 1/2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, and 1tbsp dried cranberries if desired
  • Mediterranean Turkey Burgers w/ salt, pepper, garlic powder, diced tomatoes, onions and peppers, add sliced avocados or cheese on top if desired
  • Plantain chips w/ 1/3tbsp coconut oil and sprinkled sea salt (bake 15-20 minutes at 350) and 1 tbsp ketchup if desired.

**Nutrients: 70g Carbs, 8.5g Fiber, 29g Protein, 21g Fat , plus 300mg of Potassium, significant Magnesium

Snack:

Carrots & Hummus

**Nutrients, good source of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins!

Dinner:

  • (2) Sauteed chicken tenders w/ tomatoes and butter-basil sauce (2 tsp butter + sprinkled or fresh basil cooked in)
  • Roasted Sweet potatoes w/ coconut oil, salt and pepper (bake at 400 for 30 minutes)
  • Roasted Green beans & Brussel Sprouts w/ coconut oil, salt and pepper (add into sweet potatoes with 15-20 minutes to go)

**Nutrients: 40g Carbs, 35g Protein, 11g Fiber, 11g Fat , plus 700mg Potassium, Vitamin A & C overload

Dessert:

Trail Mix – 1/2 tbsp chocolate chips, 1/2 cup plain popcorn, 2 tbsp sliced almonds, and 2 tbsp dried cranberries

**good source of healthy fats and good for the sweet tooth!

Now here is the biggest part – adjust based on YOU. I like to graze so I might add a protein bar into my day or splurge with a slab of pancakes, cupcake or donut if my body is asking for carbs.

Listen to it – it knows what you need!

Also if you feel clueless, like me, on what nutrients you need and what it should look like according to numbers (which I say loosely – DON’T OBSESS OVER NUMBERS) , here is a helpful guide on a nutrition breakdown (Nutrition Data – SELF)

Hopefully this helps on the nutrition side of life. Don’t let it consume you, just be aware and conscious of your body and taking care of it with proper fuel!

If you have any questions or comments let me know!

Happy Monday!

Jordan

 

 

 

 

Fitness Goals & Apps to Help Get You There

Coming off of a great race, I’m in full on recovery mode, but that doesn’t mean new goals aren’t formulating in my head. Honestly, that’s step ONE. Where do you want to be, what goals do you have, what motivates you? Write this ALL down (and keep coming back to it and adjusting). THEN explore different ways to get there. Whether it’s in the realm of fitness, nutrition, or both don’t feel like you don’t have to do this alone.

Your goal may be something like this: walk for 15 minutes 3 days a week, or this: better toned arms, or it may look like this: Run a sub-3:00 marathon. Either way the following can be there for all of you, and at least one of these will be a great way to push START  and have a great community to be in the journey with you.

So before we dive in, I want to hear from you : WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS? WHAT AREAS DO YOU NEED HELP IN MOVING TOWARDS THEM? WHAT DO YOU DREAM ABOUT 5-10 YEARS FROM NOW?

I’ve had several people say YES to getting some workouts as well as fitness apps to help them stay on track with their fitness & nutrition goals so here is a little all inclusive:

Nike TrainingFull Body. This app is FREE and has SO many workouts to choose from, whether upper arms, stretch, or short cardio. I love doing these workouts to mix up my training, plus you can take it anywhere!

StravaRunning + Cycling. This app is great for staying in community with other runners. You can find routes, community to cheer you on, and keeps all of your stats in one app.

MyFitnessPalNutrition. Log your food intake, activity level daily, and weight goal, and watch it adjust to your specific needs including a general understanding of your individual nutrition values. Be careful with this one because it can become a little obsessive, but if you want a better view of nutrition and fitness for you it’s a great place to start.

Nike+ Run ClubRunning. I love this app for its guided runs and training plans. If you have a specific distance you are reaching to go this one adapts to your schedule and your training needs. The guided runs are great to stay motivated during the harder days!

FitBit Activity Tracking + Nutrition. You don’t have to have a FitBit to use their app and it’s a great way to join in with others and come up with one common goal for the week! It’s relatively basic, but if you are just wanting to push START with a few people this will do!

All Trails Trails Runners & Hikers. Really just anyone who likes to explore outdoors will LOVE this one. This app shows locations near you, maps, and the level of intensity. Great for beginners looking to stick close to home and those wanting to go big in a brand new place!

SweatFull Body. This one is a subscription, but I used the free trial and it is a GREAT way to start building full body workout discipline. There are challenges and area specific workouts to choose from, and the community is HUGE so you will have so much support.

**Gear is Nike & Tracksmith

***Photography is Hevesi Photography 

If you have any questions or additions let me know, or leave me a comment from the questions above!

Jordan