Jumping In.

A few weeks ago a writing job that had been presented to me during the summer had fallen through. Since initially saying yes it had been on my mind even though it wasn’t scheduled to start until Q4. As the weeks had passed the pull to stay clear of “putting all my eggs in that basket” had been pressing, and thankfully I listened.

Now a few weeks past the disappointment, and post the realities of big transitions, the cloudiness of life is starting to clear and fresh breath is becoming the lead story. Of course this really is the best place to be heading into the holidays, but what does that really mean? As I continue on in a season of uncertainty, the feelings of being bogged down by this that and the other have been replaced with new opportunities and are bringing excitement with the added capacity to be able to jump in.

Right now: it means staying in my part time project management/administrator role, but as always, the Lord has been gracious to breathe new life into the familiar. On a new, new front it looks like starting my studies for getting a nutrition certification After the past couple years of a physical and mental health battle in the realm of nutrition, the passion is burning to dive into the opportunity to learn and provide a safe space for people to learn and grow towards the best versions of them! If you have any questions please feel free to comment or email me : jordan@fuelingherforward.com .

While I’m studying, and during the holidays I will be posting some of my favorite holiday healthies (yes they exist) along with some of the most fun ways to stay active and enjoy during the coming season + a mental health perspective on it all. Per usual I’ll be referencing Run Fast. Eat Slow regularly!

And then you probably ask about running. Next Saturday is the Cochran Mill Trail Race and then my calendar is clear as in zero, zilch, nada, although I will be volunteering for the Atlanta Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon. There is something beautiful about endless opportunities, but a peace about zero expectation. For five years I have pushed hard to be the best runner, teammate, and woman that I can be in order to be able to continue to step into the immeasurably more and glorify Him through all of it. He get’s ALL the praise for allowing me to reach so many of the goals that have been set, and recover from the hard and low points. So the future is exciting even though uncertain.

Bring it on!

What do you have coming up? Is there anything you are excited about? A goal you are aiming to reach before the end of the year?

All for now,

Jordan

Mouth-Breathing is So Unattractive: Listening To Your Body & Fighting the Mental Battle

Mouth breathing is so unattractive, seriously the combination of Darth Vader and exasperated sighs about does a girl in.

Mike could tell right off the bat that I wasn’t myself as we grouped up before the start of Big Peach’s half marathon training run Saturday morning. Mike is my newest running friend, having recognized him from previous events he decided to join the pace group I was leading during this training season. He’s from Philly, having only been in Atlanta for 3 years, and grandfather of two; his drive and encouragement make the miles go faster, however this morning would be particularly tough. My body wasn’t 100% and my normal chipper self felt stuck inside my own head.

Fast-forward to Monday and the mental game started waging – my body still craving rest, but in that state of weakness and vulnerability the enemies lies against wellness were all too loud. Jon joined me for a walk that morning around the park that is now our front porch view and the food game began to start. “You aren’t well enough to run, but that means you can’t eat either” STOP. But my attempt at drowning it out doesn’t last long “you can’t run, you can’t eat, you won’t be able to race well in October so forget racing elite again, you ate unforgiving things yesterday you are just letting sit in your body” FAILURE.

No. The narrative HAS to change. No. I am not going to run when my body says no. Yes. I will trust that my body is going to work the way it was created and tell me what and when it needs to be nourished. No. This doesn’t ruin everything or anything. And it’s all so much easier said than done, but it’s something that is constantly being reinforced in this season.

Getting sick isn’t a norm for me (thankfully), but when it hits it’s just hard, plain and simple. Rest and I don’t have a super close relationship, and forcing myself to go down is like trying to tie up a calf at a rodeo, kicks a-firing, add in the mental health aspect and it’s a full on show.

So what did a series of days with no exercise look like? It looked like continuing to learn to listen to my body and not my head. It looked like choosing Jesus instead of giving way to the lies of the enemy. It meant enjoying a GF Mexican Sandwich w/ bowl of black beans and rice with a kick to help nourish my body last night (and completely and grossly drain my sinuses). I always come back to Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. (check it out here) because these recipes are life giving and consider well-rounded health. It’s writing down all the feelings and voices you are hearing to help work through it instead of letting it compound inside.

BUT it also means utilizing the technology we have available to check in with yourself when you might not quite understand it. My Garmin Forerunner 35 (learn more here) has helped me track my heart rate and understand how my body is adapting to certain things since I’m under the weather.

It’s everything about continuing this journey.

If anything envelopes these thoughts above it’s that we are created so beautifully and intricately that even though our bodies can sometimes fail us, they are also INCREDIBLE machines that give us signals and cues to what and when our bodies need certain things, food, rest, exercise, and HELP. Don’t get wrapped up inside your own head and forget to listen to everything else that’s going on.

You are stronger than you think, more capable than you think, and completely enabled by your Creator!

 

Gaining Mileage, How A+B Does Not Always Equal C, and the Importance of Recovery

Gaining mileage : Pain + Strength + Recovery

My background is not in running. Running half and full marathons wasn’t a norm for me, until I started working at Big Peach I didn’t even know there was such thing as a Cross Country Spike. It wasn’t until 5 years ago that I dove in and fell in love with my feet on the road.

15 miles. it was late summer/early fall and the first time I had ever conquered that many miles in one swoop. Making my way to the door I barely had the energy to turn the handle only to collapse on the floor and crawl towards the kitchen. It was a long time coming, physically and mentally drained I was anything but a pretty sight, however it changed everything. The ability to push through thresholds, to go further, to be stronger than I could have ever imagined.

In college, we would cross-train with running, agilities, or stadiums but the switch wasn’t immediate post-swimming. So how did I go from swimmer to marathoner? I walked 1 mile.

My parents have this very convenient loop around the front part of their neighborhood that so happens to equal one mile from driveway to driveway. So we walked it, together as a family most nights. But then as we started going longer and further I decided to set a goal: a 5K at a park nearby.

Sometimes all it takes is setting a goal.

So I started to run that mile, and do that several times a week. It is NOT a quick process. The rule of thumb is add 10% at any given time, a hard rule to follow I know, but it can save you from injury in the long run (ha, get it). Run 1 mile several times, consistently, then slowly work your way up. Please don’t decide to go from 4 to 9 miles at one time, but be ok pushing yourself, being in pain (the right kind of pain), because that’s your body getting stronger and breaking down barriers.

However, it’s not that once you get to 9 miles you just stay there, NOR do you just keep going up and up and up. When I’m training for a half or full my mileage stays between 4-7  – 2 days a week with track or cross-training sprinkled throughout, and then a long run Saturday which looks more like a roller coaster Here’s what I mean:

Week 1: 8 miles

Week 2: 9 miles

Week 3: 7 miles

Week 4: 10 miles

Week 5: 8 miles

and so on and so forth.

Why take yourself on a mileage roller coaster, and only run 3 days a week? One word: RECOVERY.

I learned my lesson the hard way, trying to run 6 days with no strength or stretching involved (a week that more looked like 3 miles, 6 miles, 4 miles, 6 miles, 3 miles, 10 miles, rest) and I paid the piper. Now stretching, yoga, and strength are staples in my week. If you need a good stretch or strength workout checkout these youtube vids here. They can be a little cheesy, however you can do them anywhere at any time.

So all this to say: you might have wanted a quick fix to start doing more and more miles, but it’s the three Rs of running:

Repetition – buid a base foundation and mileage and stay with short gains for a consistent period.

Resilience – as you go further and further push your body a little past your threshold each time, it will make you stronger, faster, and overall better physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Recovery – give your body rest that it needs, stretch, and refuel with the correct nutrition.  It’s ok to only do one long run a week and only gain mileage every other week, and Lord willing I will be able to speak into specific nutrition SOON (exciting news ahead) and you can always go to my resources page for Runner Cookbook Inspo: Runners Cookbooks

LAST, don’t forget to SET A GOAL it’s going to be much easier to push if you have a goal in sight!

I hope this helps, if you have something specific you want to ask email me at jordan@fuelingherforward.com

Happy Friday!

Jordan

 

 

 

 

The World Needs More Parks

Isolation.

The enemy lives there. He yearns for you to meet him there, to be anxious with your own thoughts, to fear the outside and the attacks it may bring. On the brink of training for my first pro race and a few speaking engagements he whispers those lies into my head that I’m better off alone… when the majority of our culture centers around food and meals it can seem easier to just stay home. When the “stability” of isolation can seemingly combat the anxiety that can come with meals or large arrangements of food, everyone suffers.

And I love coffee shop dates just as much as the next person, but I believe the world needs more parks…

Jon and I were driving home yesterday and the old Boys & Girls Club off North Druid Hills was completely flattened. While completely aware of the real estate demand in Atlanta, our undertone thought was “How great would it be if we had another park?”.

In a culture that battles not only excessive screen time but also the epidemic of Mental Health related illnesses, how great would it be to have more spaces to engage with people away from distraction or anxiety?

While there are moments that facing a fear head on are important and necessary, there are as many times where handling it means creating a new space where the light can shine. Gathering in community, basking in creation, and letting truth shine into the darkness, into the lies that isolation can bring.

And yes, parks are “everywhere”, but within walking distance, a place that you can truly be a neighbor? In Atlanta, usually not, and I argue even in NYC where everyone walks everywhere and there is a giant green space to explore people are still longing for close by intimate spaces. A place where activity and community meet on an intimate scale.

So maybe the resources aren’t there for me personally to create a new park, but that doesn’t mean opportunity isn’t there to help gather people. So that’s the hope: to create a park, but like a Church isn’t just the building, so the park is more than land, it’s a people coming together, sharing life, being active, and experiencing freedom together.

In September the desire is to create these parks for women to come together engage and keep taking steps forward, hence Fueling Her Forward began.

But before that happens I challenge you to get outside, get you some vitamin D, and ask the Lord to shine in the darkness. Break the chains of isolation and be free! The lies and anxiety DO NOT get the last word.

Any thoughts? Questions? Ideas? Email me jordan@creativekitchenrunner.blog

For now friends, Happy Monday!

Jordan

 

 

 

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

 

The “D” Word… Discipline

Discipline.

It can be the ugliest of words, because you know the potential of beauty it holds, but the painful steps it takes to get there. People don’t necessarily like discipline, they like routine. And if you can adjust routine just a bit then change will happen. Those two words can often get confused or used to mean the same thing. My argument – routine is just part of discipline and yes changing some things about it can influence discipline in different (and important) areas of life, it isn’t everything.

It’s a complicated equation that adds up to discipline and that’s usually why in the busyness of today’s culture we miss developing it  – usually there is a quicker solution to  patch the problem. No longevity, no consistency, no chance to see the real beauty that it holds.  So let’s dig into the ugly and talk through some real life ways to trudge through to the beauty that discipline holds, specifically in the areas of fitness and nutrition.

Disclaimer: Discipline does not mean obsessive. I have fallen into this category in the past, and am still learning just as much as everyone else, and if you find yourself there – talk to someone! Message me, reach out to someone! 

Fitness:

  1. You aren’t the only one. Yes you, text that friend, research groups or gyms in your area, invite someone. In most of the community around me people are constantly looking for people and places to help them get started. But it takes that two or three google searches or texting those two or three friends to actually press START.
  2. Goal set – seriously get a pen and paper with this person or persons above and write it down, put it where you can see it. What you want to accomplish, but also how!
  3. Try things out – try one thing a week, put a calendar reminder on your phone on a certain time every week to try something out until it clicks !
  4. Then write it down some more. Log your workouts and your progress, and check in with your counterparts.
  5. Set a reasonable alarm, or actually work on making space. Maybe you don’t go from 8am wake up calls to 4am, but if you started by twice a week waking up at 6:30a or even 7a to do a quick walk or small body weight circuit then that is step, and ANY step is a great step

Nutrition:

  1. Make it colorful and nutritious: berries, and greens, and sweet potatoes, and avocado on everything! Mix in some almonds, and carrots, and throw in some protein whether thats beans – vegan style – or chicken / fish. If you breakfast is grabbing a bar, wake up 10 minutes earlier to scramble an egg, grab a piece of fruit, and pop that piece of bread in the toaster. I promise it’s worth it, you’ll enjoy your food more and it will leave you feeling fuller!
  2. Just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you should use it. Just because Chick Fil a is giving a free large waffle fry with mobile order doesn’t mean you cash in – on occasion of course, not if you’ve had Chick Fil a 3 days in a row. Just say no.
  3. Don’t leave food out on the counter for extended periods of time. I know it’s totally our culture to have all the food everywhere, but that’s a sure fire way to not watch what you eat.
  4. If you know you have a particular food you struggle with don’t keep it in the house. One of my biggest struggles is peanut butter, I love the gooey goodness but I’ve set parameters around only buying it so often so if I run out before my next pick up then I am out of luck. No your limits and no that that treats are actually treats and should NOT be staples in our week (like cupcakes).
  5. COOK: you never truly know what all goes into your food if someone else makes it. The good, the bad, the ugly.. so get into a habit of cooking the majority of the time. Try recipes, invite people over to cook together, experiment with colors, flavors, and actually attempt those 300 Pinterest recipes you pinned 5 years ago.
  6. Or… go to Whole Foods – I mean, because it’s Whole Foods.
  7. Portion Control – while I, admittedly, read food labels too much, they do suggest serving sizes on the back for a reason. Don’t get obsessive but don’t hesitate to do a little look just to see if you are in line with them.

It’s a journey that lasts a lifetime so put in the work to develop those disciplines now. There is no convenient or quick fix. It takes time and effort, but we are all doing this thing called being human together, and even from behind screens we all have things in common and can relate to one another. Be bold, and leverage relationships!