Sensitive Subject: Losing Weight Running Less

I feel a discussion on losing weight from running less is a sensitive subject because I’m aware of who reads my blog. I know that my readers look to me for guidance on living a healthy, balanced life, free from caring about the scale and weight, and learning how to move away from disordered eating patterns.

However, I do feel it’s important that I’m always open about my workout routine as it relates to my own balance as well as discuss weight topics if I find them necessary and relevant.

It’s been over 6 months now since I dropped that shampoo bottle on my foot which definitely changed my workout routine, weekly mileage, and life.

I’ve already written about the impact that moment has had on me, including this post from a few months ago about not gaining weight from running less.

But I have more to say on the topic.

It’s worth noting again how I truly think that randomly dropping the shampoo bottle on my foot (which kept me from running for precautionary reasons for a little bit) was a sign from the universe. It gave me an excuse forced me to stop running which helped me to recognize that I didn’t really want to keep running as much as I was — but I was subconsciously refusing to change my routine on my own.

Wanting to change my workout routine and reduce my mileage was brewing in me for well over a year. I think this is how things go with me though. I wouldn’t call myself indecisive, it’s just that sometimes I may start to feel that I need to change something but don’t make the change immediately, and often it takes a bump from the universe to make it happen.

With running, I was holding on to my routine AND to my fear of cutting things back which could maybe cause me to gain weight.

I felt as though my body became conditioned to operate at 40 or so miles a week and that doing less would be a problem.

Like maybe I would continue to eat as if I were running higher mileage. I assumed my metabolism and body would not adjust.

It also felt weird as a creature of habit runner to NOT run a long run every weekend, to not keep up my half marathon desire and distance.

SO rarely do you see runners making the decision on their own to run less, you know?

I was SO WRONG about all of what I was feeling and thinking and I’m giddy over this whole situation and how running less has  changed my life for the better every single morning if you want to know the truth.

AllSeated luncheon
photo credit: Natural Expressions NY

^ Me being giddy

I now run maybe 20 miles a week and it feels so right. I feel strong 99.9% of the time as my legs are not bogged down by extra miles. I’m faster and covering distance in less time. I never feel stiff or sore or exhausted after a workout! I’m never overly thirsty, overly hungry, or overly tired! Even in this heat, I am never thirsty after my runs or feeling dehydrated at all.

On the days that I run, it’s as if I didn’t even run in the morning, nothing lingering from the experience.

I never get out of the car needing a minute to loosen up.

My whole routine feels so flexible and I don’t need to carve out much time for my workouts. Most often, my time spent is around 40 – 45 minutes.

I’m fine with getting back to my 30 minutes a day roots too when all I want to do is 30 minutes!

And I’ve lost weight.

I don’t use a scale but my clothes are making it super clear that something has changed. The people close to me are able to see it.

At first I had noticed what I called a drop in bloat to my muscles. I think it could have been related to cortisol levels or retaining water and glycogen stores.

At this point now, it might be actual weight loss. I wouldn’t even say I’ve lost muscle because I can actually see more muscle tone than before.

Obviously I do not know what I weigh and I still can’t see it much on myself when I look in the mirror but my clothes are much looser than they were last summer.

Of course I know I didn’t need to lose weight. But whatever I lost, even if it’s a couple of pounds, I’m liking how I feel. I’m never bloated, I’m never in that weird place after a workout where I feel like my clothes don’t glide on the way I want them to fit. For a while there, I was annoyed at my shorts or pants, wondering what the heck because they weren’t fitting “right” and they should have felt “right” given my activity level and dedication to my routine. Or so I thought.

It’s amazing to not be overly hungry. I eat my meals at regular intervals but I finish my post-run oatmeal and don’t go back for more. I’m not driven by my appetite.

I understand that I’m always pretty close to not getting my period. A few pounds less than where I should be and I won’t ovulate on time. I remain cognizant of this so if I fall off my clock-work cycle, I will definitely make sure to eat even more than I already do.

This is where I repeat again that it’s not just high mileage running that causes female runners to lose their cycles.

I always said that running WAS NOT the cause of my past history with amenorrhea. It’s simply a matter of an energy imbalance. You can run 20, 40, or 80 miles a week and safely get your period — or not. If you aren’t eating enough to support the energy you are expending, that’s where the problem lies.

So, if you require more calories than you are eating even at running 20 miles a week, your cycles can and will shut down on you.

I don’t count calories or pay attention to what I eat. I’m not able to fully explain why I’m now thinner while running less. Anything I said above or in my last post on this topic is a guess. I’m not a doctor and sometimes I don’t even think the doctors understand this stuff exactly nor do they always realize the needs of each individual specifically either.

What’s the point of this post? A few things:

1 – To keep you in the loop with my life and running-related stuff.

2 – To show that more exercise does not always mean weight loss. It could in fact be the opposite.

3 – To provide insight into what it’s like to go from running a lot to running much less without seeing weight gain or negative effects. My experience has been nothing but positive.

4 – To remind you that amenorrhea is not always the result of high mileage.

[bctt tweet=”Discussing a sensitive subject today on the blog! Losing weight from running LESS #running #run #runchat #weightloss #fitness #amenorrhea” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

How do you feel about your workout routine? Do you want to do less but are afraid to make the change?


What Would Happen If I Looked At The Scale?


Is it weird for anyone else to realize that had I stayed married, my 16th wedding anniversary would be this Friday, November 17? Doesn’t that sound like a really long time as if I’m not old enough to have been married that long?!

I’ve talked about what my anniversary means after divorce in the past so we don’t need to discuss that part today.

What we need to discuss is this picture of me getting zipped into my wedding dress. I don’t think I’ve shared this picture before!

That’s me, 16 years ago (I was 23!) in the bridal room at my wedding venue. My bridal attendant was helping me to get ready and I was PRAYING that my dress would zip. Heather took this picture, I remember that!

wedding dress

Have I told you what happened only two weeks prior to my wedding day? About how the seamstress needed to remove the cups from the bra area of my wedding dress because I was suddenly busting out of the top? Yeah.

After 18 or so months with amenorrhea, my period had returned a couple of months before my wedding day. I gave up the scale a good six months prior to my wedding yet even so, I know that I had gained weight, my hormones were all over the place and my metabolism wasn’t normal yet.

I hate that fear of something not zipping. It’s a fear that I still get in my head from time to time and I always think back to this moment of fear with my wedding dress.


So the scale.

I gave up the scale SO LONG AGO. In fact, when we registered for all the household items during our engagement, a scale was never on my list.

While I’ve stepped on random scales from time to time over the years, I haven’t actually looked at the number on the scale in over three years.

I mean, I know my range. I know my unhealthy (too thin) range and I know the range I fall in when I am in a good place and I can tell these things without stepping on the scale.

For example, my unhealthy range has me looking sickly and I won’t get my period. My healthy range gives me my period every darn 28 days like clockwork plus my body has a cute shape again.

So who needs the scale to tell me right from wrong?

Yet still, should I know what I weigh? You know, for medical reasons? Like when I was in labor. They needed to know my weight for the epidural and I was yelling I don’t know my weight because I don’t look at the scale so you have to wait for my doctor to get here with my file?! Yeah, that wasn’t a good situation.

What would happen if I stepped on the scale and saw a number? Would I be fine with it? Would I easily move on from the situation?

I really don’t know.

I’m so out of touch with the whole process of stepping on and seeing/knowing a number. Sometimes I feel as though not checking in with the scale means I am letting myself go or ignoring that I am gaining several pounds over the years and not realizing. Like I am getting older and my metabolism must be slowing down and I should be monitoring that.

But that obviously makes no sense! I am still exercising, eating my balanced way and my clothes all fit!

I’ve lived my life for the past bunch of years so carefree by not thinking about  what the scale says. There’s no daily check in. No wondering about what I ate in relation to what the scale might say. No thinking in terms of being up, down, retaining water or gaining muscle.

Speaking of muscle, I do have some. Not a lot, but some. They say muscle weighs more so the scale will go up even when you are as fit as ever. Sometimes I think that’s a cop-out although in reality, it’s documented medical research.


Even if I saw a number I didn’t like on the scale, if it’s muscle or not, there isn’t a thing I could do about it anyway.

Seriously. I am truly at a point in my life where I couldn’t and just wouldn’t adjust anything about my diet and lifestyle.

I don’t see how I could eat less and I wouldn’t give up going out to eat as often as I do. If I want dessert, I won’t go without it and if I want a second plate of food because I am hungry, I am going to eat it.

Or like yesterday when I wanted hot chocolate, I’m going to drink it even though in my head I still think of the old, “but we don’t drink calories!”

Well, guess what, sometimes we do and it’s really okay because nothing is going to happen to you. This Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate was so good. If you want hot chocolate, you drink the real thing, not the 20 calorie pathetic packet.

hot chocolate

I can’t force myself to run any more than I actually feel like running and I’m certainly not about to subject my personality to a MyFitnessPal/Whole 30/Paleo/Counting Macros type of thing.

It’s nice not to think about my next meal. It’s freeing to not care very much about what I eat. Of course I still eat healthy but I don’t need to think about it in order to do so. I don’t ever want to have to, either.

I look in the mirror and I’m always very happy with what I see.

Running is great, I am never injured (knock on wood) and feel strong. So why would the number on a scale matter at this point in my life? It shouldn’t yet still, sometimes I wonder about it.

I’m sharing this post to remind you that thought patterns like this never truly go away. I think we all have them from time to time so if you are waiting for that magical moment where you never think like this again, think again. It’s important to acknowledge that random thoughts about weight, weight loss, the scale, and whatever other term you want to insert here, will pop up and have you question things and you have to learn how to work through those moments in a healthy way. It’s not always easy (don’t talk to me during PMS) but it can be done.

I usually recognize these moments, call my mother to laugh about how ridiculous I sound and then go about my day.

It really goes back to this quote I shared recently.



Yet still, will I step on the scale soon and actually look at the number? I don’t know. Maybe? Maybe not.

[bctt tweet=”What would happen if I looked at the scale? #weight #bodyimage #health #scale #amenorrhea #disorderedeating #wedding” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

When was the last time you looked at the scale?

If you haven’t looked at the scale in years, do you think about?

Do you like hot chocolate? Which is your favorite kind?



Runners and Amenorrhea, Fake News & On This Day


thinking out loud

This week involves more New York State testing which means my son goes into school late since we opt out of taking the exams. Again, why couldn’t tests be optional when I was a kid?

The later mornings mean extra sleep, more time to devote to running and Pure Barre AND out for breakfast. My son talked me into stopping for a bagel both Tuesday and Wednesday before school. Of course I had already eaten my two breakfasts but here’s what my boy enjoyed.


Remember when I said my keyboard stopped typing the letter H? Well, now it has moved on to giving up the letter S at various times. I’ve decided there’s probably peanut butter all underneath the keys on my keyboard. What else could it be?

So I was interviewed for an upcoming article on the topic of runners and amenorrhea for Outside Magazine. It hasn’t been published yet but once it is live, of course I will share the link!

There’s been lots of chatter on the topic of runners and amenorrhea lately and maybe you have been wondering why I have been pretty silent about it.

The main reason is, Tina, who has been publicly sharing her story, is my friend.

I don’t talk about my friends.

I am not comfortable discussing her health or her life publicly here on the blog, even if amenorrhea is a topic of high interest to my readers.

The only thing I will do aside from support her personally is chime in on blog posts that I come across that in any way put her down in order to defend her.

I take my friendships seriously and blog friends are no exception.

I came across an awful post last week (I can’t even bring myself to share the link) and not only was it downright mean, it was filled with so much false information about runners and amenorrhea that I am pretty sure it could be classified as fake news. It took all of my restraint to leave a comment that showed my distaste without totally losing my cool.

Anyway, I have written several posts on the topic in the past which you can find in my section dedicated to amenorrhea. This post in particular, Amenorrhea Chat, has been pretty popular lately so if you missed that one, please feel free to read it. And always, feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions on the subject. 🙂

On This Day:

The Long Island Half Marathon is always the first Sunday in May. It’s no surprise that all posts from the last four years on this day revolve around running the half.

As you already know, I won’t be running this Sunday but hopefully it will work for me next year!

5/4/16: WIAW: Post-Race Appetite

5/4/15: 2015 Long Island Half Marathon Recap

5/4/14: Pre-Race Food & Ready For Today’s Half Marathon

5/4/13: Half Marathon Expo

[bctt tweet=”Fake News, Runner’s and Amenorrhea & On This Day #thinkingoutloud #amenorrhea #runners #fakenews” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Is there a race that you tend to run every year? Which is it?

How often do you clean your keyboard? Do your letters get stuck like mine?

What’s for breakfast today?

Finding Balance & Body Image Round Up


I have decided to quickly throw together a round-up of the posts I have written this year on the topics of finding balance and body image for three reasons:

  1. I always have new readers (hi!) so rounding up the older posts allows new readers to see topics that they may miss otherwise.
  2. Some topics, such as finding balance and body image are worth reviewing and reading again because quite often it takes several times of hearing/reading something for it to finally sink in.
  3. These posts stay with me long after I hit publish because the ideas and realizations are just so important.

And really, maybe the biggest reason I am rounding up these posts is to get a good look at what I have written this year on the subject of finding balance, body image (and disordered eating too) so that I know what still needs to be said going forward. It’s a tricky thing to keep writing on the same subjects but I know how valued these posts are so I want to continue to bring you the topics that you find the most beneficial, interesting and helpful!

Finding Balance

I worked on this Finding Balance series with Laura earlier this year. Not only did we both learn a ton together while formulating these posts about female runners, we helped others out too.

Finding Balance Between our DIets & Workouts

Finding Balance Between Our Diets & Workouts <  How many calories do you really need to eat an as active female?

Finding Balance Between Our Diets & Workouts Part Two < – Great insight into what to eat and when to support your running routine and workouts.

NEDA Week 2016 (Female athlete Triad) < – Such an important topic. Way too many females, especially female runners, find themselves in the female athlete triad so it’s important to know the risks and understand how to avoid amenorrhea.

Body Image/Disordered Eating:

You know you can count on me to write a post or two (or three!) regarding body image and disordered eating, especially when it comes to how our clothes fit!

jeans can lie

Achieving a Balanced Attitude Towards Your Weight < – I am always asked how I remain so balanced and the answer isn’t that simple! I put together the key things that I keep in mind all of the time in order to stay balanced and achieve a positive relationship with food, workouts and health.

Do You Really Need To Lose 5 Pounds? – Well, do you really need to those few pounds? Probably not!

Clothes Should Make You Feel Good – I think about this post especially whenever I am standing there in my closet trying to figure out what to wear and which pairs of jeans I should probably donate.

Disordered Eating Chat – Such an important reminder of how there are much bigger things in life taking place than worrying about controlling what you eat every second.

As always, if you have any questions at all on these subjects, please feel free to comment or email me to chat!

[bctt tweet=”body image and disordered eating round-up from 2016! #bodyimage #findingbalance #disorderedeating ” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Do you have any jeans you are still hanging onto in your closet but know you should donate? I do, I have this one pair STILL that even yesterday I said needs to go but I just can’t do it yet!

Have you changed your pre and/or post run meals recently or have you been eating the same things forever because they work for you?

Are there any topics that you want to see covered in 2017? Please let me know!


A Pathetic Peanut Butter Sandwich (Disordered Eating Chat)

Today’s post will discuss disordered eating, amenorrhea and things like that. If this is not a topic for you to be reading right now, I will see you tomorrow for What I Ate Wednesday. 🙂

In Sunday’s post, I mentioned that I recalled eating a peanut butter sandwich with an apple on September 11, 2001 as I watched the news coverage of the horrific day unfold.

I have been thinking about that peanut butter sandwich a lot lately.

I am sure you don’t remember but I dealt with amenorrhea during the year of my engagement leading up to my wedding in 2001. I had just gotten my period back a couple of months prior to September 11.

My metabolism was all screwed up from months of not eating enough. I really didn’t know back then that there was a thing called not eating enough. I thought it was either you don’t eat at all (anorexia) or you eat too much. Anything in between would be healthy and correct but I slowly learned that wasn’t the case.

To be honest, it started to feel like no matter what I ate, I was going to gain weight from my slowed metabolism. Was that in my head or was it reality? I think a little bit of both.

My wedding was approaching and I lived in fear of my dress not zipping up on my wedding day.

Looking back, I don’t even understand why I felt the dress wouldn’t zip. It’s not like I ever gain weight in my middle and the dress was a princess ball gown – why wouldn’t the zipper zip up my back? Of course it would.

But I didn’t see that then.

All I saw was that my period came back and I was gaining weight.

My body was sort of freaking out, adding hormones and shape to areas that didn’t have shape for a few years. This wasn’t a bad thing! I was healthy and growing back curves — curves are a good thing!

Although, as great as having shape is, no one wants to feel their body growing or behaving in a way that they can’t control.

And that peanut butter sandwich? It was made completely with a fake, poor excuse for peanut butter.

One of those low-calorie, low taste peanut butters that comes in a jar claiming to be better than peanut butter but isn’t even close to as good as peanut butter. I ate this peanut butter sandwich in my attempt to still eat less without feeling like I was eating less even though eating less didn’t work.

I am pretty sure, now that I sit here and think about it, that peanut butter sandwich was also made on low-calorie bread. You know, that low-calorie bread where the slices are so thin that two slices are really like one slice? Do they still make that type of bread?

The Towers were crumbling yet I was eating this fake pathetic peanut butter sandwich thinking I was on track with a perfect day of eating.

Like any other day during that time period, I attempted the same perfect eating until the after dinner hours would roll around and I devoured every box of cereal in the pantry.

You think you can eat less than you need and get by with the low-calorie nonsense and maybe you can but it only lasts for so long. At some point your metabolism shuts down and your appetite increases to make up for the dumb things your brain tries to allow you to do. It’s such a terrible cycle that I hope to never get caught up in again.

15 years later and my period still arrives like clockwork.

I run longer now and faster now than I ever could have imagined back when I was 23 years old. I haven’t weighed myself in years but if I had to guess, my size is in line with where I was at when I was considered unhealthy but now I am healthier and stronger.

Isn’t it funny how that works? We think our bodies need US to keep things under control when the reality is, we need to stop trying to control things and just let our insides do their thing. They are going to anyway.

If we don’t eat enough, our system will slow things down to conserve energy rather than let us get too sickly thin. If we stop focusing so much on trying to control every morsel that goes into our mouths, we will find a balance that works for both the brain and the rest of our body too.

I have a fancy dress to zip up in a few weeks (for my son’s Bar Mitzvah) and I am not afraid that it won’t zip.

I eat real peanut butter and never allow myself to go hungry. As a runner, I don’t even know if it’s possible to run and not eat when hungry. How do people do that? How does one ignore the runner’s appetite?

By the way, this is my new favorite peanut butter. Why didn’t you tell me to try the 365 brand of peanut butter?

365 peanut butter

This is not to say that I don’t struggle sometimes in the evening with the food in the pantry because that would be a lie. Sometimes, even after I have eaten plenty of calories and fat all day long, I am still looking for snacks (specifically chocolate chips these days) and I have finally come to realize that this is just part of my life.

I am old enough and wise enough now to know that there’s no such thing as a perfect day of eating and at the age of 38, I have also learned that there’s no such thing as me not wanting to eat extra snacks sometimes in the evening even if I am not hungry.

And that’s okay. It’s me.

I don’t need to analyze my issues, determine if I am supposed to cut sugar (that’s insanity) or question why or what I am doing wrong that I like extra chocolate at night on a random Tuesday.

I think that this pathetic peanut butter sandwich that I ate while innocent people were dying and battling for their lives on September 11 serves as a reminder that 15 years ago, I was way too focused on what I ate.

I don’t want to live my life like that.

I don’t want to look back over the years and remember focusing on food. It just seems like a terrible way to live.

Posts of Interest:

Achieving a Balanced Attitude Towards Your Weight  – My key points for keeping yourself in check

Body Image Chat – Realizing that clothing doesn’t need to be a struggle.

Finding Balance Between Our Diets & Workouts – How many calories should you be eating?

Between Our Diets & Workouts Part 2 – Follow up to part one of this great series



Which peanut butter is your favorite?

Do you think that sometimes you think too much about food? Or, did you have a time in your life when you did?

Do you find yourself eating snacks at night even though you probably aren’t hungry?



Fall Race Calendar Conflict


There are four fall half marathons in October that have been on my maybe I will run list for quite some time.

I have been waiting until August 1st to make my decision as to which race(s) I will run but I am suddenly seeing a major conflict between my race calendar options and my menstrual cycle.

October 2016 half marathon new york area options

I cannot plan too far ahead as you may already know from reading for a while because I cannot run a race during my period.

I have a terrific chance of fainting during my time of the month which has happened to me on more than one occasion in my lifetime.

I have fainted sitting down, standing up and from exertion, be it on day one of my period or even a few times, on day four or five! This means that no day during my period is that safe or smart for me to run a race, especially a half marathon.

My body operates like clockwork, every 28 days, almost always without fail. However, I am not a machine so some months I am off by a day or two which isn’t a big deal unless you are trying to register for your next half marathon.

Based upon my current cycle patterns, running a fall half marathon is now in jeopardy. I even plugged my cycle into one of those handy online calculators hoping I was wrong.

period calculator

As of this moment, my period is set to arrive the first and last weekend of October which means I am left with only Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn as an option which is my least favorite option, one that shouldn’t even be considered an option and is only listed because I really did always want to run an Rock ‘n” Roll half marathon.

It’s a schlep and a half to get to this part of Brooklyn for race day plus I would need to get there the day before to pick up my number. It’s also the weekend before my son’s Bar Mitzvah AND Bridal Fashion Week (October 8 – 10) so I am sort of really busy at that time to say the least.

I wanted to run the Great South Bay Half Marathon again after enjoying the race last year. I also really considered the Diva Half Marathon because it’s a similar race course to the Long Island Half Marathon which would be super cool to run in the fall to see how I handled it in comparison to the spring!

In a perfect world, I would run the Suffolk County Half Marathon at the end of October as well as one of the races from the start of the month too.

There’s still some time for my cycle to change a bit.

A day early here, a day late there and I may find myself able to register for a half of my choice.

I’m planning to start training as of August 1st anyway, and then just see what happens.

If at the last-minute I see I can run a half, I will sign up.

Will I be disappointed if I don’t run a half marathon this fall?

I am fine with training even if it ends up I won’t be running a half this fall season. I just see it as putting myself in even better half marathon shape, you know?

The truth is, if I had my choice of when I wanted to get my period, this is working out for the best. My son’s Bar Mitzvah is October 15th. Having my period on the day of his Bar Mitzvah is almost the same as having to deal with my period on my wedding day in terms of enjoying the evening in my pretty dress – no girl wants to deal with cramps and tampons on such a special day!

This is just part of being a female.

I am grateful that I can run as much as I do and get my period every 28 days. I would rather NOT run a half marathon because I have my period than run 20 races a year living a life with amenorrhea, risking my health and my bones.

The funniest part of this? I checked ahead to November to see if my cycle would have interfered with the New York City Marathon — nope, I would have been in the clear! Go figure. I was so worried about that when I had entered the lottery back in January (and didn’t get in).

[bctt tweet=”fall race calendar conflict! #running #halfmarathon #period #barmitzvah #fallraces #divahalf #rnrbrooklyn #fitfluential ” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Which race (or races) are you currently training for?

Are you eyeing any half marathons for this fall that you haven’t signed up for yet?


Hi From Hershey & Running Round Up


Hi from Hershey Park! We have been having the best time this week and the chocolate isn’t half bad either…

hershey bar

I have lost count of how many chocolate bars and Hershey Kisses I have eaten but hey, it’s Hershey Park. If you are here, you eat chocolate with every meal. 🙂

Anyway, I will be back soon to recap our fun but in the meantime, I have been wanting to share a round-up of my favorite running-related and running workout posts from the last six months or so. I find it extremely helpful not only for me to see what I have been writing about in the last few months but for new readers who may have missed a great running-related post and workout idea!

running round up

Let’s start with the workouts:

Tempo Interval Workout < – This workout is challenging in a really good way, I swear! Work on your speed, ability and endurance.

Easy Run on the Treadmill Workout < – I ran this one yesterday for a few miles in the hotel gym!

Treadmill Workout < – A fun speed interval workout for the treadmill is always necessary.

13 Mile Long Run Workout < – A great way to run 13 miles and watch the time fly by fast.


Running Topics:

5 Benefits of Treadmill Running For Outdoor Runners < – Even if you prefer to run outside, there are benefits to running on the treadmill.

Treadmill Running: The Pros & Cons List < – Some of the positives are also negatives but hey, the treadmill is our friend and available to us when we can’t run outside!

5 Things I Do Everyday To Make Myself a Better Runner <- Really, it’s what I do when I am not running to make myself a better runner.

Surviving Summer as a Runner < – A few things I do both when running and not running to get through the warmer weather as a runner

Running Realizations < – So many things about ourselves as runners realized while running.

The Benefits of Tune Up Races < – Terrific guest post from Laura about how and why we should run a tune up race during our training.


Running & Health:

Laura and I worked together on this finding balance series. I really enjoyed writing it, learning and sharing the information. These posts are pretty popular which means I should probably put more posts like these together soon.

Finding Balance Between our DIets & Workouts

Finding Balance Between Our Diets & Workouts – How many calories do you really need?

Finding Balance Between Our Diets & Workouts Part II –  Good discussion about fueling for our workouts.

NEDA Week/Amenorrhea – The Female Athlete Triad is a serious topic and one female runners need to be aware of during their training.


Girl Talk: Body Image Chat – I can be nuts when it comes to the clothes in my closet!

The Dangers of Running on Anti-Inflammatory Medications – I didn’t know there were side effects of running after taking ant-inflammatory medications until seeing it as a warning in a race info packet!

Race Recaps:

I ran two races this Spring. I am still planning my fall race calendar but remain super happy with my current half PR. 🙂

Aspire 10k Race Recap – The tune up race during my half marathon training!

Long Island Half Marathon – My current PR half marathon!

Long Island Half Marathon Over The Years – Running the same half marathon a few years in a row is a pretty cool experience since you are able to look back at where you were in your life at the time of the race.

Other Running Round Ups:

Running Round Up June 2015 – This round-up of running posts was written a year ago already, wow.

Turkey Trot Running Round Up – Good round-up of running workouts.

Running Helps Me Think – So many great post ideas are thought of while running. This round-up includes all topics including divorce.

Running Round Up 2014 – I shared this post while we were away in Disney World! Feels like yesterday.

[bctt tweet=”running round up including workouts, running topics and finding balance series #running #workouts #roundup #NEDA #bodyimage #fitfluential #races @thisrunrecipes” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

[bctt tweet=”Hi from Hershey Park plus running round up! #hersheypark #chocolate #hersheyparkhappy #running #roundup #workouts #fitfluential” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

What did you have for dessert last night (I have desserts on my mind since I am eating a lot of chocolate)?

What types of running/running-related posts are you interested in seeing more of?

What’s on the workout agenda for today?

Girl Talk: Body Image Chat


Note: Today’s post discusses body image. If this isn’t what you feel like reading today, no hard feelings! See you tomorrow 🙂

A few weeks ago I had a crazy yet enlightening realization. I was getting dressed in my real clothes which involved my favorite pair of black high boots. As I was zipping the boots up, I noticed they were taking some extra time to pull up over my calves.

I laughed. Ha, look at me with the calf muscles! They are making my boots tight! Maybe by next winter these very boots won’t even zip up at all!

I literally just laughed, smiled….and moved on.

And then I realized — If it were my jeans or black pants being pulled up and taking too long to get over my thighs, feeling snug up top or heaven for bid, not getting up at all, there’s a chance I would have started to freak with thoughts that would look something like this:

What did I do? What did I not do?

Did I gain weight? Am I eating too much?

Is it PMS? Am I bloated?

Am I not running enough? Am I running too much?

What happened? How did this happen?

Is it Pure Barre? Am I building too much leg muscle? Am I not targeting my thighs the right way with my workouts?

Do you see what I am saying? My calves do not phase me but higher up in the leg has the potential to send me into a frenzy.

If I need a larger size in shirts, that’s cool. I need room to move my arms and like to be comfortable.

Need the next size in shoes? Sure thing, bring them out. No big deal.

But jeans? Because the thigh area isn’t fitting right? Cue freak out, call my mother.

I am not a fool, I absolutely know I am thin. And I also know that if I needed a bigger size in my jeans, I would still be a healthy size for my body.

However, I think that the brainwashing effect of living in a society that praises weight loss and small sizes combined with knowing I was once chubby and that chub was in my thighs still has the potential to play an initial role in my thought process if I allow it.

I try to replace the thought process with something like this:

You are insane, you know that? You look awesome and you feel awesome, so stop it.

Like hello, you are a runner. Those legs and muscles continue to carry you across finish lines, faster and faster.

You love Pure Barre. It is a wonderful cross-training workout that has absolutely changed your shape for the better.

You couldn’t eat less even if you wanted to! What would you do, genius, what would you even do? Skip an apple? Not eat sweet potatoes? Start measuring out your servings of vegetables instead just eating the amount that you actually want? Nonsense.

And, eating any less than you do right now would wreak havoc on your body and you know that! You would lose your period, slow your metabolism (and then gain weight for real rather than the fake weight you are imagining right now) and increase your risk of injury.

You realize you are able to run injury free right? I do not bring this up as to not jinx myself but I increase mileage and run 6 days a week for years without issue. I continually thank my body (and how I fuel it) for this.

And heck no, you will never give up dessert. You love dessert and also know that those occasional favorite treats are not what’s going to do you in but giving them up, most certainly will destroy your soul.

cold stone sundae

I receive so many emails from readers each week looking to me for guidance regarding their own body image struggles and for answers to their disordered eating recovery questions that I think it’s important for me to share my own thoughts and experiences. Realizing we all have the potential to experience these moments about our bodies can help us to see that our initial thought processes aren’t any different from the next girl.

The trick (and probably the most difficult part) is not only realizing that these types of thoughts will pop up from time to time but how important it is to take those body image thoughts and learn how to put them into perspective in order to keep a healthy mindset.

As fitness enthusiasts, I do believe we are most in tuned with our bodies and more likely to notice the little changes that may or may not occur in our muscles and structure.

But see, we are actually the girls who have the wiggle room. The room to eat more because we are always exercising, to skip a workout because we are so routine that hey, it’s okay to rest today! and the room to bounce between sizes because, more than likely, we changed sizes because our shapes changed for the better from our workouts, not because we were inactive and gained weight. Let’s remember this, okay?

Post of Interest:

Achieving a Balanced Attitude Towards Your Weight

Finding Balance Part One – How many calories do you really need?

Finding Balance Part Two – How what and why should we eat for our workouts?

Finding Balance/NEDA Week – Female Athlete Triad chat

Do You Really Need To Lose 5 Pounds? – Probably not!

Jeans Can Lie

[bctt tweet=”body image chat #girltalk #bodyimage #disorderedeating #running #coldstone #fitfluential” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Has running changed your calf muscles and do you notice them in your boots?

How do you handle the thoughts that pop up when you think your clothes don’t fit right?


Thank you, Food Shopping & Recipes Galore


I haven’t had a chance to say thank you for sharing your thoughts and personal experiences with me in the comments and via email regarding Tuesday’s NEDA week post. When I receive even just one message from someone thanking me for helping them or questions for further guidance, I know I am reaching the right people. Sometimes, as I mentioned, I feel like we talk so much (or even too much) on the topic of amenorrhea and the female athlete triad, but clearly, it’s beyond important and necessary to continue to do so.

I was just saying to Amanda yesterday that as I look back on my own experience from years ago (when I was 22), I still can’t get over how uninformed I was on this topic, how it seemed like there was no such thing as not eating enough, that it was you were either anorexic or bulimic and if you were eating and not throwing up, you were just fine. But that’s not the case, as we know. I am sure I will cover more aspects of this subject again soon but please feel free to email me or leave a comment on today’s post with anything you may want me to cover in relation to amenorrhea and the female athlete triad. I am not a doctor or nutritionist but I am happy to help however I can 🙂

Anyway, it’s Friday! So happy for the weekend and so happy to run long outdoors tomorrow. I really missed my routine long run last weekend.

My food shopping is out-of-the-way because somehow I have fallen into the pattern of getting it done on Thursday afternoons. I think that once I went food shopping on a Thursday, I ran out of everything we needed come the next Thursday so that’s how Thursday became food shopping day…at least for now.

trader joe's food shopping

Nothing too new in the mix this week aside from getting fresh strawberries for a change, grapes per my son’s request and some cereal. I was in the mood for the granola Red Mango uses (Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax) so I picked up a box at Trader Joe’s and then while in the cereal section, I grabbed the Fruity O’s too just because.

I honestly cannot formulate a solid dinner plan for next week.

I just can’t. I don’t know what we want and I don’t feel like knowing right now what we want. Instead, I have a bunch of our staples in the house that are easy to throw to together and we are going to wing it a bit more than usual (aside from knowing pizza night is Tuesday).

I did come across a crazy amount of tasty-sounding recipes this week though so instead of sharing a dinner plan, I want to share all of the recipe links with you instead.


Pancake Mix Overnight Oats

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowls (Paleo/Whole 30)

Almond Butter Berry Breakfast Bars (Paleo)


BBQ Chickpea Deep Dish Pizza

Vegan Falafel Pizza

Pizza Supreme on Cauliflower Crust

Other Dinner Ideas:

25 Vegan Chinese Recipes

Cauliflower Pasta With Lemon-Almond Sauce

Easy Lentil Meatballs

10 Weeknight Chicken Dinner Recipes


Cavity Bars – Brownies, cookies and cookie dough in one? May make these on Sunday.

Easy Gluten Free Carrot Cake Bread Pudding (Dairy Free, Make Ahead)

DIY Cereal Bowl CakeI just love how this looks! So so creative and cute.

Have a great weekend!

[bctt tweet=”Thanks, food shopping & recipes galore #recipes #mealprep #dinner #NEDAwareness #paleo #vegetarian #fitfluential”]


3 things you are doing this weekend?

Long run tomorrow or Sunday?

Which day do you normally do your food shopping?


I can’t let this week pass without addressing the fact that it’s National Eating Disorders Awareness week.

NEDA week

Bringing awareness to eating disorders and disordered eating is so important. Even though I feel like we address certain aspects often (hello amenorrhea and female athlete triad), the questions I keep receiving via email on this subject combined with continuing to read about runners who are literally running their bodies into the ground, drive me to further rehash the importance of eating enough and taking care of ourselves.

The theme for NEDA week this year is 3 Minutes Can Save A Life. The focus is on the importance of early intervention so maybe, in the time it takes for someone to read today’s post, I will be able to help someone.

While putting together the series of recent posts about finding balance between our diets and our workouts, Laura and I of course discussed the female athlete triad.

What is the female athlete triad?

  • Energy Deficiency with or without disordered eating
  • Menstrual Disturbances/Amenorrhea
  • Bone Loss/Osteoporosis

Without enough food (energy), your body shuts down your menstrual cycle because it just doesn’t have enough to work with to keep all systems going — Almost as a way to say, no way can you grow a baby, not enough energy here. Over time, amenorrhea can lead to bone loss (since no period can mean low estrogen), osteoporosis, stress fractures, injuries, infertility, slowed metabolism, and so many other problems.  Even if you are on the birth control pill to regulate your estrogen levels, you are still at risk for the female athlete triad if you are restricting your calories. The pill does not solve things – it is masking the problem.

I don’t really know how else to continue to point out that not getting your period, 9 times out of 10, is likely due to the imbalance between calories in and energy out.   Each month that passes without your period is another month closer to the negative health effects listed above as well as random symptoms like insomnia. Did you know that?

I don’t know how to continue to say that even if you think you are eating enough that it may not be enough for you.

That’s the thing that is really worth pointing out this week – You don’t have to fall into the framework of the traditional eating disorders of anorexia or bulimia to suffer the ill effects of both.

You may eat and eat often but not enough for your body. Not eating enough can still cause damage.

It’s true. When I dealt with amenorrhea, I weighed enough for my height but it was not enough for ME.

The doctor said I am eating right because my weight is within range. No, it’s very possible that it is not enough for you if you are not getting your period.

And you know it! Only you know what you are eating and how much you are running. The doctor only knows what you share, only knows the height to weight chart and very often, does not know to look for signs and symptoms of female athlete triad.

So many females remain in denial, which I do understand since I was there once too but gosh, it’s so frustrating to watch. Not just for me but for your family and loved ones.

In fact, so many female bloggers fall into this category that I am struggling to watch and to read. I am unfollowing Instagram accounts quite often lately and I am ready to unfollow blogs too, not because I don’t care about these people but because I just can’t watch. It’s not healthy for me to see. Sometimes if you are reading and seeing things over and over, you can start to think something is normal (when it isn’t) and question your own sanity.

I did catch a terrific quote on Instagram over the weekend though; my thoughts EXACTLY.

healthy weight quote

I need to follow more accounts that say things like this rather than see images of women with scary bones showing in their pictures.

So anyway, I am not a doctor but from my experiences, I have written a ton of posts on the topics of disordered eating, amenorrhea and finding balance which are here for you to read, reread and hopefully feel inspired by, if needed, to make the changes you need to live the healthiest and happiest life possible.

A Life Without The Scale – One of the very first posts I wrote about giving up the scale and my experience with amenorrhea.

Finding Balance Between Clean Eating & LivingI forgot I wrote this post last year! I was just thinking to write something similar until I saw it pop up in my stats last week! It says everything I still feel about eating a healthy diet yet not so ridiculously healthy and restrictive that you can’t go out with friends to restaurants and enjoy yourself. There’s very little point to being so crazy healthy, organic, sugar-free, paleo, meatless, vegan or clean if all you do is sit in your house making your own meals for the rest of your life. It limits your being and that, well at least in my opinion, is not living. And not healthy.

Do you really need to lose 5 Pounds? – So many times we struggle with those 5 pounds when really, we don’t actually need to lose them.

Amenorrhea talk – A no-nonsense approach to the subject.

Jeans Can Lie – Last year’s NEDA week post, love this one.

Let’s Talk About My Black Pants – I hate pants

Finding Balance Between Our Diets & Workouts Part One

Finding Balance Between Our Diets & Workouts Part Two

Laura is also talking about the Female Athlete Triad so click here to see her informative post.

For more information on NEDA week and eating disorder help, click here.

[bctt tweet=”NEDA Awareness Week #NEDA #NEDAwareness #eatingdisorders #amenorrhea #runner #fitfluential”]

No direct questions today but feel free to share your thoughts 🙂


%d bloggers like this: