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Let’s talk about stress and coping mechanisms.

Some people are good at coping, some people are not.  I am not.

If you know me, you know that I’m the kind of person that piles on the stress until I’m about ready for a breakdown—and then I get a second job/sign up for a marathon/decide to conquer a small nation state.

Stress has always been key to performance for me, I perform my best when my candle is burning from both ends.  Or, so I thought.

Usually, I have one key coping mechanism to help burn off steam.  That would be exercise.  There’s something about spin class or running or kickboxing that helps me manage it all.

Since breaking my foot a few months ago, my journeys to the gym have been fewer and further between and way less impact than I’m used to.  Cycling at a leisurely pace on a recumbent bike just doesn’t have the same “release” as sprinting for 45-minutes.  Weird.

Well, training for my next race, The Hampton’s Half Marathon in September, started this past weekend.  I hadn’t run since the day I broke my foot, and I was more than a little apprehensive.  But, what was most surprising to me on my embarrassingly exhausting 1.7 mile jaunt was the fact that I started crying hysterically.

I don’t know what I was crying about.  I was just crying.  I had gone months.  MONTHS!  Without finding any effective way to manage stress—and these have been incredibly stressful few months–the first chance my body got to let off steam it went whole hog breakdown.

The good news is that my speed was relatively decent because I kept trying to outrun the rest of my group so they wouldn’t label me  “Crying Crazy Girl.”

As I walked home, still sniveling, I decided to do whatever was needed to make my life less stressy.

One of the things that has effected me most, as you all know, is that I gained a wee bit (30 lbs) of weight in this past year.  I’m not happy about it, but I’m also not sure I have the mental space to focus on calorie counting when I have articles to write and a book to promote—in addition to a new job to manage.  In a compromise of sorts with myself, I decided to invest in a meal delivery diet.

Last year I tried The Fresh Diet for a week.  I liked the fact that all the meals were pre-packaged, calorie controlled, and all made from fresh, real food.

I re-signed up for a month.  One month of dieting by default.  I don’t have it in me to stress about food, but I would also like to fit comfortably in my jeans again (thank you summer dresses for being so forgiving)—this may be an expense, but it takes the stress out of this one very emotional issue for me…at least for now.

I also decided to take Sundays off from The Fresh Diet.  Partly because I believe in having a cheat day every week for sanity’s sake.  But also because I love cooking, and need at least one day a week to get down and dirty with some mixing bowls and my oven.

As far as exercise goes, I now have two races to prepare for.  In addition to half-marathon I’m training for with Team-in-Training, I also signed up for The MoonWalk: NYC, an overnight walking marathon to raise money for breast cancer research and treatment.  You guys know I’m a sucker for a good cause 😉

With all the walking and running I have ahead of me as I train for these two events, hopefully decompression won’t be as much of an issue.

Since I’m doing something “new” with my daily eating habits, I figured this would be a good time to start photographing my food again.

Today was my first day of delivery, and I have to say I was a bit hungry.  I don’t think I realized how much my body had gotten used to eating.  My pre-packaged 1200-1400 calories a day seemed measly compared to what I usually make for Roy and myself.

Here’s the rundown:

Breakfast

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Asparagus & Cheddar Cheese Quiche with Fresh Pineapple

Lunch

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Grilled Wild Mahi Mahi on Whole Wheat Ciabatta Bread with Lettuce, Tomato & Thousand Island Dressing

Dinner

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New York Strip Steak with Mango BBQ Sauce with Sauteed Mushroom Medley and Haricot Vert
Mushroom Crowns Filled with Cajun Shrimp

Dessert

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Honey Almond Cheesecake