Plantar Fasciitis

November 16, 2011

Hi everyone. Long time no talk.

I’m not even going to try to make excuses.

I’ve been slacking.

I’ve gotten so lazy I haven’t even made a real dinner in the last three days. I’ve been eating frozen chicken nuggets.

But that’s neither here nor there. I’m actually here to talk about my feet.

Oh yeah.

Remember a few months ago when I went on a rampage about “how this is it! I’m going to run race! A really long race! Rah rah rah rah, I’m going to read running books! And buy finger shoes! And run like a man doing Tai Chi! WEE!”

Ok, weelll– I started to do all of that. I did.

I began by reading Born to Run.

If you haven’t read it yet, you have to.

It basically made me wish I was an African bushman, living in a village and hunting antelope with my bare hands.

I was all like “Screw work! I’m moving! I’m quitting my job to live the life of a running vagabond, with nothing but the shoes on my feet and the fanny pack around my waist! Lindsay Gump!”

Thankfully, I came out of whatever dream world I was living in and came back to Earth when I finished the book.

(I mean, c’mon. We all know I wouldn’t actually wear a fanny pack. Africa, yes. Fanny pack, no.)

However, the book did inspire me to run again. (That was the point, right?)

So, I started in on my half marathon training program.

I even switched shoes. Goodbye over-cushioned Saucony’s– helloooo 5 year old Puma’s with the flat sole that I’ve had forever.

And let me tell you, I felt great.

I was running like the wind! I was passing people on the streets!

When I got tired, I simply did as one tribe in Born to Run did.

I would find a runner in front of me, pretend they were an antelope, and chase them.

Except the people on the book were chasing real antelope.

So they could eat. And, you know. Survive.

Me? I was just some creep running the streets of Boston, sneaking up on people, and doing a little dance when I came up on their heels in silent victory.

In my head I’d be like, “Ha! If you were an antelope, you’d be dead! Sucker!

In real life, if they turned around, I’d stop and pretend to tie my shoe.

This strategy was going great.

And then–disaster.

One day at the gym, I had forgotten my new trusty Puma’s, so I had to wear my old, over-cushioned, soul-crushing Saucony’s.

I sanely and rationally talked myself through it.

“Just one run won’t kill me. I wanted to do 5 miles, so that’s what I’m going to do. 5 miles. No less.”

So, I got on the treadmill and started happily running, pony tail bouncing, feet feeling over-burdened and claustrophobic, but essentially ok.

One mile down. Two miles down.

Three miles down.

Ow, my heel kind of hurts.

3.5 miles down.

Why does my heel feel like it’s cracking in half?

4 miles down.

Good God I think I shattered my foot but I’m finishing these 5 miles if it f*cking kills me.

5 miles later, I was literally whimpering like a wounded kitten abandoned on the side of the road.

I limped home, iced it, put my feet up, and assumed I’d feel better in the morning.

The next morning I woke up, stretched, and swung my legs out of bed, stood up…

…and promptly almost fell over.

The only way to describe the pain is– it felt like someone had shattered my heel with a hammer and then lit it on fire.

As it progressively got worse throughout the day, it became clear that walking ever again was out of the question. I had resigned to live the life of a person who never stood up.

I would simply be known as Sitting Lindsay.

A little research later, it was obvious I was suffering from the bane of every runner’s existence.

Plantar Fasciitis.

Bascially, it’s a horrible foot condition, typical in runner’s, that has no cure and has been known to last for up to two years.

Two years.

Never mind all that though. I was all hung up on the fact that one of the causes was “sudden weight gain.”

Not “overtraining” or “bad running form”.

Nope. Sudden weight gain.

No longer was I a stealth Bushman hunting unsuspecting antelope on the African plains.

I was reduced to a chubby, red-headed faux runner who thought running another half marathon was easily within my grasp, until I was stricken with an incurable foot condition.

Wah.

So in summary– my foot hurts.

Real bad.

I guess I could have just said that from the start.

Eat Spuds, Gain Pudge

July 7, 2011

What the hell, Denise Austin!

All this time you’ve been selling me the idea that Idaho potatoes are good for me:

And then I had to find out from Harvard University that all you’ve been selling me are lies.

Lies!

I haven’t done a health post in a while, but I thought this new study was worth mentioning.

Tell me– Do you love your spuds?

That’s a silly question. Of course you love potatoes. What’s not to love?

However, I (along with almost every other human being I know) know that potatoes that have been fried, mashed with butter, or turned into a chip aren’t good for me.

And I do a (pretty) good job of only eating these foods on occasion, as a treat.

Or at least only on the weekends.

At the very least, not every day.

Usually.

Oh who am I kidding. I freaking love potatoes in every form and eat them all the time.

But, french fries and buttery mashed potatoes aside, I have always been under the assumption that a potato, a plain, unaltered potato, was a healthy addition to a well-rounded diet.

I mean, it’s from the earth. Mother Nature created it. Not to mention, the good ‘ol spud is a certified “heart healthy” food by the American Heart Association.

Seems to me like this should be one hell of a super food, eh?

Alas, all tasty, seemingly good-for-you foods usually crash and burn. (That is, depending how much “weight” you want to put into this study.)

According to a new study published by the New England Journal of Medicine has found that an individual who eats an extra serving of potatoes each day will gain more weight than if they consumed an extra 12-ounce sugary drink or extra helping of red or processed meats.

Say it isn’t so!

Here’s the breakdown: In general, the participants in the study gained an average of 0.8 pounds per year. However, those who regularly ate potatoes gained more.

Those who ate an extra serving of french fries every day added an average of 3.4 pounds to their total weight over 4 years.

Potato chips added 1.7 pounds.

And any potato in non-chip form contributed 1.3 pounds.

Now, I know this doesn’t seem like a lot, and to many, it isn’t worth giving up the starchy goodness of this diet staple.

But when you add up the weight gain over 20 years, even the seemingly innocent 0.8 pounds balloon to a whopping 16 extra pounds you have to carry around.

Add the extra weight you’ll gain from your potato-laden diet and you’ll be heaving around much more than you are today.

OK. I got that.

Extra potatoes = more fat on your bones year over year.

Not exactly mind-blowing, if you ask me.

Potatoes are starchy, fairly high in calories for a veggie, and are almost never eaten in their natural state. And you mean to tell me that they are going to make me gain weight?

No offense Harvard, but even I, with my unassuming 4-year degree from a liberal arts college, could have told you that.

So, do we need to give up potatoes in an effort to reach healthy diet nirvana?

No.

I mean, in all honesty, who eats an extra serving of french fries, potato chips, or any form of potato for that matter, every single day?

If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say probably not too many people.

And if you are, chances are your diet isn’t all that healthy anyway, potato-gorging habits aside.

So, in all honesty, I’m not sold on this study. To me, it seems kind of like common sense.

But, hey, maybe after reading this, it will help deter you the next time you’re eyeing the all-you-can-eat baked potato bar at your favorite restaurant.

Maybe just knowing these facts will help you clean up your diet a little, and maybe next time you order a Friday night burger, you’ll order a side salad instead of steak fries.

Maybe.

Or maybe not. Maybe, if you’re like me, you’ll find room in your diet for a little spud-goodness.

But anyway, that’s all I have to say about that.

Check in next time for my firsthand account on the trials and tribulations of wearing pocket-less pants.

Until then 🙂

Split Pants

May 13, 2011

It might be safe to say my self-esteem took a bit of a blow yesterday.

I split my pants.

I mean, I really split my pants.

Right smack dab down the front.

Let me start from the beginning.

Believe it or not, I wasn’t even having a fat day.

In fact, I was feeling quite slim and jaunty.

My jauntiness came from the fact that, the night before, I had mustered all my will-power and denied myself dessert.

So, mentally, I felt skinnier. And I was convinced that I definitely must have been looking pret-ty lean.

Which is why I decided to wear a pair of pants I haven’t worn in quite a while.

On my lunch break, with my new-found leanness still intact, I decided to wander downstairs to Filene’s Basement to check out their bathing suit collection and maybe even see how a few looked on my new, dessert-free frame.

Needless to say, that didn’t go so well.

It wasn’t Filene’s Basement’s fault– their bathing suit collection was quite cute.

However, my body stuffed into any of said bathing suits? Not so much.

Self-esteem blow #1– denying yourself dessert for one night might make you think you’ll look good in a two piece, but alas. You will not.

In an effort to blame anything but myself for my lack of success, I figured it must have been the mirrors/lack of tan/post-winter pasty skin that made them look so bad.

So, instead of buying a new bathing suit, I focused my mind elsewhere and bought a cute pair of capris and a billowy patterned blouse to add to my summer wardrobe.

Score!

Oh boy, was I excited! I couldn’t wait to get home and show off my purchases to my roommate!

The rest of the day passed in a blur.

A busy day for me means sitting still in a chair and staring intently at a computer screen while typing furiously.

Sometimes it makes my legs stiff. So every once in a while, I’ll sit cross-legged in my chair.

I sat cross-legged in my chair yesterday.

In the pants I haven’t worn in quite a while.

When the end of the day rolled around, I grabbed my bag of new clothes, put on my jacket, and caught the T home.

I rode the T blissfully unaware of any problems brewing below, reading my book and giddy with the excitement that only showing off new clothes can bring.

I walked in the door and sought out my roommate.

“C’mere! I bought new clothes! Come see, come see, comeseeeee!”

She sat down on the couch with eager anticipation.

“Hold on, let me just take off my coat.”

When I returned from hanging it up in the closet, I saw her eyes go wide.

Like, really wide.

And then, she said the dreaded words no girl ever wants to hear.

“Oh my God, Lindsay– did you split your PANTS??”

I looked down, and sure enough. Right there, in the front of my pants, big enough for the whole world to see, was a hole.

A hole so big, I could fit my hand through it.

Have a look for yourself:

Self-esteem blow #2– It is not a good idea to sit cross-legged in a pair of pants that you haven’t worn in quite a while. It might cause them to split. And then you may or may not obliviously walk around like that for the rest of the day.

In horror, I changed into yoga pants and refused to change out of them for the rest of the night.

Later that night, I went to a friend’s house for pizza, Arbor Mist, and Grey’s Anatomy. (Yes, I know there are two things wrong with that statement. I should not have been eating pizza after splitting my pants, and yes– I do drink Arbor Mist. It’s tasty and makes me feel nostalgic.)

My friends were sympathetic, and assured me it happens to everyone at some point.

It’s true.. I suppose it does happen to everyone at some point.

I felt assured. I felt validated. I was feeling better.

I had put the whole incident out of my mind.

I allowed myself a second slice of pizza.

But as we were leaving, my friend Bridget couldn’t help giving me one last parting shot.

We said good bye and I walked to my car in my nice, expandable yoga pants, she looks over her shoulder and said–

“Be careful getting in your car. You don’t wanna split your pants!”

Yeah. Got it. Thanks, Bridge.

ABC has pulled Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution from May sweeps in favor of airing recaps of Dancing with the Stars.

Apparently, ABC would rather overload the American public with 4 hours a week of a dancing show than educate them on the importance of healthy eating and sensible food choices.

You know, because people sitting on their asses while watching others dance their butts off will surely help the obesity epidemic that is quickly engulfing this country.

According to the network, their reasoning was the DWTS recap show was “a better complement to the results show” than JO’s show, and that his ratings simply weren’t as good as the first season.

Excuse my language– but I call bullshit.

I think the real reason ABC pulled the show is because they bowed to the pressure of overweight, lazy Americans who can’t handle the truth– that this country is obese and needs help.

And the fact that Jamie Oliver is bringing light to this issue struck a chord.

Instead of manning up and accepting the truth, the LA school district took the cowardly route by attempting to get the American public to turn a blind eye to what it is they’re actually doing— continuing to breed obesity in America.

They’ve fought Jamie tooth and nail the entire time he has been filming.

First, they wouldn’t let him into their school’s kitchens.

Then, he wasn’t allowed in the cafeterias.

He asked if he could simply peek in the windows– they had a problem with that.

At the end of the last episode, he was no longer allowed to speak to students about what they ate for lunch.

Why? Because the LA school district knows that the food they are serving is crap.

And now, the show is pulled.

I’m sorry, but whether or not you are fan of this show, you should be as angry as I am.

Your tax dollars go towards the national school lunch program.

They go towards feeing your children.

And if you don’t have an issue with school districts hiding what it is they are putting into your children’s mouths, then shame on you.

You should be skeptical and outraged that the school system won’t let you see. Why? Because they know that if the American public saw what they were serving in school cafeterias, there would be an uproar.

If anything, this should make Jamie Oliver’s ratings soar, because, to me, this blatant disregard for America’s children’s health is borderline child abuse.

Most of these kids don’t have a choice about what it is they are eating.

And it disgusts me that the one person trying to change the obesity epidemic for the better is punished for ruffling the feathers of some bigwigs over at the LA Board of Education.

And ABC didn’t even have the decency (read: courage) to let Jamie’s followers know his show was pulled for May sweeps.

Instead, I found out last night, when I was subjected to yet another hour of DWTS at 8pm, the normal time Food Revolution airs.

Shame on you ABC. Shame. On. You.

Bad, Bad Beer

April 6, 2011

Sorry people. Today’s post is a venting session.

I’m angry. At myself.

I got on the scale today for the first time in a Very. Long. Time.

I’ve been avoiding weighing myself for quite awhile, mainly because I knew I wouldn’t like the number that would inevitably be glaring back at me.

But, I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning, and since I don’t usually like surprises, I figured I should get a ball park figure of how much I’m weighing in these days, so I didn’t faint in disgust and astonishment tomorrow morning.

Let’s just say, I probably would have fainted tomorrow morning, mainly from disgust.

According to the scale, and despite my best efforts, I’ve apparently gained 10 pounds.

I mean, I’m healthy. I know I am. Those of you who know me, know I am.

I work out 4-6 days/week. When I say I “work out”, I don’t mean jumping on the elliptical and doing 30 minutes at level 10 and then daintily doing bicep curls with 5 lb. dumbbells.

I go balls to the wall. Sprint intervals, kettlebell workouts, plyos…the works. If I’m lifting, the lightest dumbbell I use is 30 lbs.

I’m not saying this for a pat on the back, all I’m saying is that I make my hour or so that I have at the gym count.

My diet? It consists mainly of plain Greek yogurt, fruits, veggies, sweet potatoes, chicken, and the occasional omelet. If I eat pasta, it’s whole wheat. I eat dessert, but in moderation. Fast food disgusts me. I do like to eat out, but it’s not often and I don’t go overboard on a regular basis. I like to cook, rarely use butter, and practice pretty good portion control.

So by all accounts, I should be lean…right?

Enter beer.

Beer is the reason I’ve gained weight. Beer is the reason why I’m not losing weight.

After seeing the number on the scale this morning, right now, beer is my mortal enemy.

I’m not going to go into the health effects of drinking too much alcohol. This post is strictly from a weight perspective.

I don’t drink during the week, but I’m a social drinker on the weekends.

And it doesn’t help that I tend to be very social on Friday and Saturday nights. (I once stayed home by myself on a Saturday night and felt like I was doing something wrong. Although once that feeling passed, I have to say– it was pretty effing great. I got takeout and watched a chick flick, for those of you who are wondering what one does on a Saturday night alone.)

Anyway, being the little social butterfly that I am, I’d say I average 4-5 drinks per night on any given weekend.

That means 8-10 drinks in a two day span…and that’s on a pretty low key night. It can easily jump to 12-15 if there’s a special occasion or if I get particularly rowdy.

Say I’m drinking light beer (which I don’t– I like my Belgians). 110 calories a pop (on average). Times 10. That’s 1,100 extra calories I consume in two days. (Not counting the greasy food and late night snacks I tend to eat.)

Considering the beers I drink probably have anywhere between 150-200 calories…ouch. I don’t even want to do the math.

Now, consider this– to gain 1 pound, you have to consume 3,500 more calories than you are expending.

Sure, that might sound like a lot. But if I’m consuming 1,000-2,000 extra calories a weekend in alcohol alone, it’s no wonder my waistline has a pretty little spare tire wrapped around it.

I used to be in the fitness field. I know all this. But, writing that out makes me realize how disgusting it all is.

So, it’s high time I cut back.

3 drinks a week— MAX.

No exceptions…well, except for weddings.

But that’s it.

All I need for motivation is the number I saw on the scale this morning.

It’s go time people. Wish me luck.

The Winning Insult

March 31, 2011

For those of you who don’t know, I won a little contest on Tuesday and scored myself some tickets to a play (more on that later).

I read a little column on boston.com called Love Letters. It’s a…ahem…loveadvicecolumn. (I said that really fast hoping nobody would hear what I actually just said.)

I admit it– it’s a guilty pleasure. I find solace in the fact that there are people out there infinitely more insane/paranoid/crazy than me. Most of the letters make me seem 100% normal.

I like that.

Anyway, the columnist Meredith had a little contest where she asked her audience to write in and tell her the best/worst physical compliment/insult a significant other had ever said to you.

Keep in mind her target audience. If I had to put them in a category, it would be 20-30 something-year-old bored housewives, bat-shit crazy psychos, and unlucky-in-love females who just for the life of them can’t figure out why Mr. Right hasn’t come along and swept them off their feet, especially with all the charming, wonderful, ADORABLE qualities they have to offer so they write in to desperately seek an answer to the injustice of it all.

And me.

Anyway, let me just say, I don’t usually participate in any of her contests. I don’t comment on the letters, and I certainly have never written in. (Although I do have an affinity of saying “Ask Meredith” whenever someone I know is telling me a tale of love woe.)

I am a Love Letters creeper, plain and simple.

But, I had to write in to this contest. I had the perfect entry.

I knew, as I was writing it, that it would win. I would have bet my next paycheck.

And sure enough– it did.

So, for those of you who have been asking, here’s the actual winning email that I wrote:
***************************************************************************
Hi Meredith,
Let me preface this by saying that my ex-boyfriend is a great guy, so it’s my belief this gem was actually a compliment that came out horribly wrong.

One night, while lounging on the couch watching television, I had my legs draped casually on his lap. I have no idea what prompted him to do this, but during one commercial break, he picked up one of my (muscular, I like to think) legs, and said in awe:

“Look at this thing! It could feed an Ethiopian!”

Yeah….thanks.
Hope you found this as enjoyable as I found it horrifying 🙂
Lindsay

And Meredith’s response was short and to the point:
I love this. It’s a winner for sure.

Thanks Meredith. Now my Ethiopia-sized legs are going to carry me down to the gym, where I plan on pounding out a solid 10k on the tread.

Sorry Ethiopia. No leg for you today.

Just when I think I’m finally being healthy…

In lieu of the holiday season, I’ve been trying to clean up my diet a little. I figure if I’m going to be indulging in a little holiday cheer (and by cheer, I mean alcohol and cookies) on the weekends, the least I can do it keep it healthy during the week. Not too hard, right?

Wrong.

I started the morning off on a good note:

Low sugar oatmeal! Fruit!

And this wholesome, hearty breakfast held me over until lunch, where I had a nice can of soup and some salad waiting to be consumed.

But then I ran into trouble.

Big trouble.

All I wanted was the soup bowl I keep in the bottom drawer of my desk. Really, I wasn’t asking for trouble. So imagine my surprise when I open it up and see this:

SH*T!

How, oh how, did I forget that I bought this candy the day after Halloween during a moment of weakness when I went into CVS to buy mascara and it was on sale for, like, 2 for $1?

The fact that it has sat in my bottom drawer, untouched, for a month literally blows my mind.

Unfortunately, that candy is now on my radar.

I heard it calling my name while I glumly ate my stupid soup and droopy salad, which promptly lost it’s luster once I knew there was real, live chocolate within 2 feet of me.

I tried. I really did. But having chocolate that close would wreak havoc on anybody’s willpower.

Which is why it really isn’t my fault that this happened:

Failure

Damn you chocolate. You win again. 😦