Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I have finally (for the third time at least) accepted that for whatever freakish biochemical reason, my body has serious issues with the sweet stuff. I nibble one little cookie and watch out all things edible. Stale graham crackers, marshmallows I don't really even like, and don't get me started on peanut butter. I scarf and sneak and somehow wonder why the scale stays still or creeps up. Not sure what I expect. I think I fool myself into thinking that as long as I am eating healthy food and exercising my body will travel to my ideal. I apparently turn a blind eye to the rest of the food I am eating. It doesn't matter nearly as much what I eat as how much I think, and when I eat sugar, I eat a whole lot more of everything else to boot.

So, I am an addict. I've decided to tap into those Word of Wisdom blessings on a whole new level. The run and not be weary thing could really come in handy. I accept that, for me, sugar is an addictive substance, just as habit forming as tea, coffee, alcohol, and countless other habits. As an example, after starting this post, I went over to a friend's house to sit with her kids after bedtime while she went and cleaned the house from which she'd just moved across town. I knew going into this situation that I was walking into a den of temptation. She always has loads of sweets and treats that I never buy. And of course she even had leftover pizza. Somehow I resolved in my mind to not resolve to anything. Talk about self-defeating behaviors. And sure enough, I broke down. Here's the tally: 2 slices of pizza, 2 chocolate chip cookies, 1 oreo (might I mention here that I don't even really like those, but again, round and sugary--note earlier post), and a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch. In my defense, it was a really small bowl, more of a cup actually. . . does that make me a better person??

So anyone want to take a stab at how good I felt about myself when I came home last night? Mmm, somewhere between crummy and utterly worthless. I just couldn't seem to stop myself. Believe me know that I am a sugar addict? Good.

But, here's the thing. I really really don't want to diet. I have tried tracking my food in my Weight Watcher's journal for three days and it fills me with resent. Why? I have no idea. I've lost 50 pounds using WW, never feeling resent or even deprivation really. But for some reason, now that I've come so far, I just can't diet anymore. I just can't write down, plan, limit, or track. But yet I look at my body with disdain and long for a change, but the will isn't there to eat the cottage cheese and salad to make it happen. I think I need to take an honest look at what I am willing to do and then pray to accept what my body does with that. I want to be strong lean and healthy, but I look at the cover of Runner's World and wonder what that woman eats and if I'm willing to follow that plan for that body. I doubt it.

So, what am I willing to do? I am willing to train for another marathon. Yes, yes, I vowed I wouldn't do another one. But, I am planning to walk/run it, which will be easier on my knees and my schedule. I will run three days a week, do weights two days a week, and have a free cross-training day for whatever kind of movement sounds fun to my body at the time. Diet?? Not willing to use the word. Not willing to track. Willing to eat healthy food. Willing to not eat any sugar and willing to stop eating after eight pm. So, no sugar. . zero zip nada nil. And for at least the next month, that means any sugar at all on the ingredient list. Maple sugar, honey, and fruit will be the sweet tooth satisfiers of life. And, yes, I do think it will be for life. The other night I was talking this over with a friend who gave the oh so reassuring news that her father swore off sugar for similar reasons about 15 years ago and is just now getting to the point where he can eat a cookie now and then and stop. Nice.

A marathon in the Fall, no sugar, and no food after 8pm. These are the simple rules of my life. And steady constant prayers for strength and a loving acceptance of my body as it is and as it will be with this lifestyle. I think I will get stronger. I think I will be leaner. I don't think I will look like Runner's World girl, but at least I have hips and a life. I'll take that.


  1. Morgan -- I honestly think I've found my kindred spirit here. I'm not ready to swear off sugar. It just isn't in me. But I decided that I am not going to carry my pregnancy weight into my babies' first year. And I always said I would run a marathon before I turned 30. I turn 29 in a little less than a month -- meaning NOW is the time. And though I am frustrated that two weeks into this and watching everything I eat has produced no weight loss, even with running and bike rides and whatever, I have also decided that failure is NOT an option. And that one thought alone -- the need to feel that I can set and accomplish a goal even with nine-month-old twins and a husband that I never see because he is so busy with work and school and the National Guard -- I can still set a goal and accomplish it! So please keep me posted on the marathon thing and keep writing your feelings here. It keeps me feeling not quite alone in this struggle because there is someone else who has decided to not just take it and keep going but to set goals she can live with and keep working on her own terms. And that is so great!

    P.S. - What marathon schedule do you follow? What one do you plan to run in the Fall?

  2. thanks so much for your comments! It makes me happy to know people are reading. I've hesitated to write anything, wondering if what I have to say really matters or resonates, but maybe there are others that have struggled like me and maybe reading about each other helps us all out. As for the marathon, I'm thinking either Baltimore or Richmond. I'm also thinking of instead of a long distance run I treat my knees with kindness and instead set a time goal for a shorter race. Who knows.

  3. Hey Morgan--This is Sarah (Kirby) Palmer. I have read your blog feeling like you somehow snuck inside my brain and stole my thoughts/feelings. I have had some health issues over the last couple of years and have tried everything the Dr. told me to try and more. None of it worked like it was supposed to and I am not willing to be on medication for the rest of my life...not yet anyway.

    I found a book that a friend gave to Ben when he was training for his first marathon. It is called Eat to Live. I read the book and I LOVE it. Basically you eat fruits, veggies, and whole grains. There is very little (if any) meat and dairy. Ben and I have been doing it for 7 weeks. He has lost over 15 lbs. and I have lost about 10. The thing is, you can eat as much as you want...stuff yourself. I am NEVER hungry and I have not been working out. Just eating better and losing weight.

    We do not follow it to the letter. I still make cookies occasionally (and no I can not eat just one). We still have pizza on Friday nights (now with whole wheat flour). It isn't a diet. It is changing the way we eat and the way we see food. I was concerned with what it would do to my food budget, but it hasn't been bad. We have traded what I was spending on carbs (graham crackers, granola bars, etc.) for more fresh produce.

    I have been amazed with how much better I feel. I am also amazed with what it is doing to my body. I am fitting into things that I haven't worn for years...things that fit me a couple of kids ago. Some of my health issues are starting to resolve themselves. It has truly been amazing!

    One word of caution...if you do read the book, some of the recipes are not that great. I have found a website that has lots of recipes that fall in line with the program and most of them are really good. I feel like I have to relearn how to cook because quite a few of the recipes that we loved before aren't really that healthy and I have had to find new ones. Nothing like spending time making dinner to find out that it is gross and no one will eat it. On the flip side, I have also found some great ones that we love. If you want to try it, I can give you the website and send you some recipes.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate what you are doing and that we are in search of the same thing. Hang in there!!