Friday, March 5, 2010

Moderation in All Things

I suck at moderation.

No, really. I do. It's a common theme in my life. I'm kind of an all or nothing kind of girl.

I'm either drinking like 5 cans of Mountain Dew a day or I quit cold turkey.

I eat a baked potato every night for weeks and then stop eating them completely for months.

Those are just a couple of examples, but it's definitely been a theme in my life. So it should come as no surprise that I've never approached running with moderation in mind. I'm either running 6 days a week or not at all. I've had many people tell me to switch it up and try some swimming or biking or resistance training. I humor them by saying that I am going to work those into my regimen. But I never do. Because I really do love running and I think it's the most effective & efficient way to burn calories - and there is no better way to pound our my frustration after a bad day.

Well, the lack of moderation caught up with me. As a result of solely running for the last 10 months or so, my quads became over-developed while my glutes/hamstrings became under developed.

The result? Patella Femoral Syndrome. A very common runner injury, especially in woman runners. Luckily, it's allegedly very easy to correct. According to the doctor, after some PT sessions I should notice a huge improvement. And I should still be able to run my 1/2 in May if I really want to, although I think I am going to hold off so that I am 100% healthy for marathon training, which will start in June.

The doctor said that in a way, it's probably good this injury happened to me. She said I should view it as a wake up call. Obviously solely running isn't what my bodies needs. I need to also swim. Or bike. Or lift weights. Or, ideally, do a little bit of all of these activities.

I am very relieved that it wasn't anything structural and am really hoping she's right and that I do notice a difference after some PT appointments, which start next week.

What I'm asking myself is this: Why does it take an injury for me to realize I need to make some adjustments and live a more balanced life? This is not the only area of my life that is unbalanced.

I would benefit from spending less time critically analyzing every single little thing I do at work.

I would benefit from dabbling in dating instead of thinking that every relationship needs to go from 0 to 60 mph in intensity very early on.

I would benefit from having a peanut butter cup every now and then instead of eating so many in a day, I feel physically ill!

I could use a little bit of moderation in my life.

How about you? Is your lifestyle reflective of 'Moderation in All Things'? Where could you use a bit more moderation?


qwerkyqook said...

I don't moderate my running well either. I used to only go in the summer. But since I joined a gym, I had no snow enforced rest period. I just kept going! It's hard to choose anything else if running is an option. I had to learn my lesson the hard way too. I've been biking for 3 weeks now. I can definitely tell the difference in my thighs! Try that stepmill machine, holy moley! Its a killer.

btw my pop moderation gene is totally missing too. And yes, I had 11 cavities after my 1st year of med school!

Kyla Roma said...

I'm so glad that you aren't hurt more seriously! Yikes!

I'm not awesome on moderation either, but I've tried to channel it in a positive direction. For me that means acknowledging that I can be really intense and stubborn in my outlook, so to compensate I work in bursts (so I don't burn out) and I make my hobbies and relaxing a priority (so I don't burn out). I've tried to become a lot more balanced but at the end of the day working with my particular quirks just seems much easier and successful than fighting them =)

Mandy said...

I'm glad that your knee injury isnt any more serious. Hopefully you'll be back to full speed in no time. Biking is a lot of fun though. When its warmer I love to ride mine. I just wish I lived in a less hilly area so I could get to more places.

I also hope that you can find the balance that works for you.

I'maNolaGirl said...

Hmmm... moderation. What's that? I struggle with this too!!!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Good to hear you'll be able to rectify this knee injury before you get serious about training.

I've always been pretty good at the moderation thing. Especially last year, when I trained for a few longer races by only running 3 times a week (and doing cross training on other days).

The one place where I could use some SERIOUS moderation, though, is when it comes to sweets. If there's a bowl of candy at work, I'm in it all day long. But, the minute we run out of candy, I don't miss it. I'm fine. Bottom line? I think my boss needs to stop buying us candy!

Emily Jane said...

Oh gosh I'm sorry you had that happen but I'm so glad it's an easy fix!

"Why does it take an injury for me to realize I need to make some adjustments and live a more balanced life?" is something I've been trying to acknowledge in other areas of my life recently, especially with my nan being in hospital, and realising that it shouldn't have to take something major like that for the family to go talk to her. I

I'm not the greatest at moderation - I'm horrible for chocolate (I end up feeling awful too!)

Jess said...

Yikes!! I'm sorry to hear this, but if it's going to force you to have a more balanced work-out regime, I guess it may be a good thing!! Hope you're feeling ok. I totally understand where you're coming from, though. I'm the same way with a lot of things, exercising included. When I find a program I like, I just stick with it, which is just silly. I've tried to get better about it, but I do find myself getting back into the same old patterns now and again. Here's to hoping we both learn to balance everything in life a little better (not just exercising!)

B and B said...

I became a firm believer in strength training for one's bones and joints. At my advanced age, it sure helps the arthritis. Our routine is strength training one day and the treadmill the next. If I was more ambitious, I would do the treadmill every day. But, I am not going to beat myself up. I am happy with myself for what I do accomplish. And, I cannot have peanut butter cups in the house. No control at all.

aimee said...

i have no moderation habits!! it's either one extreme or the other for me. sorry to hear about your injury, but it's probably a good thing you've found out what the problem is so now you know how to fix it. have a good weekend!!

Ashley Gerner said...

Lisa, lisa, are too funny! All or nothing, that sounds about right!
I wanted to let you know that I had Patella Femoral Syndrom when I was in high school. That wasn't difficult to deal with at all...unforunately for me I was destined for further knee issues, for you I'm sure you'll be just fine with a little PT.
Good luck with everything, hope it goes away soon! I don't know if you've gotten a chance to read Born to Run yet, Wade is just about finished with it so I feel like I'm reading it again as he brings everything up...but they talk about how, no matter how much you run, you're pretty much garunteed to have an injury at some you're getting yours out of the way!
Take care and have a great weekend!!

Nora said...

Thankfully (I guess?) my body doesn't respond to running only so I while I may run three to five times a week, I still will do the stairclimber, bike, and some weights before or after running. (Partially because I see the best results when I run + Stair climb. My butt magically gets higher and starts to disappeaer. Which is a feat if you ask me!)

I've also thankfully learned to allow myself junk food in moderation BUT that's not to say that I always follow my own rule. Some days I'll totally pig out and wish I could throw it all up.

So happy to hear your knee can be fixed. Sometimes life has a way of slowing us down and showing us that we can take control, that we can make adjustments and that we can grow as a result. I'd say you've learned a lot more from a knee injury than the rest of us would =)

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I'm also SO HAPPY that it isn't something more serious!

My ability to moderate comes in bursts. Sometimes, and I have no idea why, I will also binge eat candy/chocolate/whatever until I literally feel physically ill. It doesn't happen all the time, but sometimes it does. Eating smaller portions and having unhealthy things in moderation was one of the biggest challenges for me when it came to weight loss.

I also tend to be all or nothing when it comes to things happening and plans. I don't like to wait for things to unfold I'm a MAKE THIS HAPPEN NOW kind of person. I guess that's more being impatient then anything.

I've been absolutely LOVING running only three times a week though. I look forward to each and every run and I know I won't be burned out when June comes around and I'm running 5 times a week for marathon training. I will send you the schedule I made for myself that has my cross-training etc. built in!

Anais said...

I'd like to think that I do everything in moderation but actually... I guess i'm a lot like you too - it's all or nothing. I guess now I make more of a conscious decision and I find it's really helped - with exercise, food, and actually dating!

Hope your legs feel better soon!! Does that mean you're currently not running at all? If so, who knows, you may find another physical activity you really enjoy ;)

Sarah said...

I'm definitely an all-or-nothing kinda girl, too. I can, and will, have the same thing for breakfast for weeks at a time.

I've also had Patella Femoral Syndrome - ironic, considering I'm not a runner, nor have I ever been. I had about 3 months of physio, but noticed results within the first few weeks.

Glad it's nothing serious, though!

J said...

I try to remember moderation but there are times when I just want to eat a ton of cookies or pieces of candy! It is hard to keep control and not eat everything in site! For me I think it depends on the time of the month too.

I think cross training will be good for you. I used to never cross train but now I do it at least 3 times a week (some days running and cross training) and I feel stronger and recovery faster than I did when I just ran!

Lisa-Marie said...

Oh Lisa, I'm sorry your leg is snuffed, and I'm glad it'll mend.

I am bad at moderation. I am a run at everything full tilt person.

Nicole said...

Hi Lisa - I'm really happy for you that you will be able to go through your rehab and still train for your upcoming marathon! That's great!

While I think I show moderation in my exercise (I run 4x per week), there is no variation. Just yesterday I stared at the elliptical machine, which never gets used, before hopping on the treadmill. [I'm in MN too, and haven't trusted myself outside yet… though I might try tomorrow.] You may have been the public service announcement I needed to shake things up - or at least add a day for cross-training.

This is getting long, but I also wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your blog. I just recently joined in on "Ten on Tuesday" because I've enjoyed yours. Hope you have a great weekend!

Kelly said...

I think moderation is tough because when you really like something it's hard to force yourself not to do it- especially if you go into it a bit and remember how much you love it.

I was originally diagnosed with patellafemoral last summer (then tendonitis). It is supposed to be very fixable so hopefully it will be for you. Whatever the heck I have is not proving to be fixable- and let me add I was only running 3 days a week 3-4 miles when this happened to me, I was practicing moderation! SO basically my point is, don't beat yourself up about it because even if you were incorporating other things, you never know what will happen!

Oh said...

Oh, Lisa, this is so true, funny and sincere! The moderation thing - I grapple with it as well (but your statement about eating the peanut butter cups? I'm so there, except my "thing" is peanut M&Ms.) Moderation is tricky business. It's tough to follow one's bliss...with moderation!

There are always wake up calls, I think, something shouting at us, "look over here! pay attention to this!"

And somehow, it's always nice to know that someone else is deaing with the same thing.

I'm having trouble moderating my reading (in my free time)but I think it's a "winter" thing and once the day is longer, I'll be so much more "outdoors-y."

Lauren/Lo/Sassy said...

Lisa, I'm glad you got a diagnosis. Don't worry, you can do it. Just make it part of your structure of your marathon training with the mind set of "i have to do this or I won't be able to run that 1/2 or full marathon." You're clearly very dedicated to both running and your work life so I'm sure after a few PT sessions and this wake up call, you'll manage. I do feel you though. Sometimes I think "i should be out there burning calories!" But then I realize that hey, my joints could use a break from all of that. And don't forget, weight training helps burn fat fast as well! I usually am all things in moderation, but my dedication/obsession w/ working out can get out of hand sometimes.

pinkflipflops said...

I'm the same way.. I'm all or nothing.. Hope your knee heals quickly and that you start enjoying other excercise oppurtunities.. I find mixing it up makes it more fun.. :)

Lo said...

I can do a few things in moderation, but the things I would hope to learn to do in moderation I am not able to make work for some reason. Mostly how much time I spend at the office and being able to portion out my food.

I would love to learn to integrate true balance in my life - work, workout, sleep, social, blog, personal, know all of the ten work-life balance essentials!

meents said...

I hear you on the peanut butter cups. those things are the devil.
glad you will be able to fix the knee and keep up the running!

Anonymous said...

Ugh. You hit the nail on the head. I wish I were better at moderating in my life but I can quickly become very intense over things or very passionate. But I am pretty good with moderating the sweets! So that is good enough for me.


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