Why I Need to Stop Running

Today was the last long run for my upcoming half marathon – the Las Vegas Rock ‘n Roll. This will be the third time I’ve raced the strip at night, and my sixth half marathon with Team Challenge. When I started with Team Challenge years ago, I thought that was going to be the answer to losing all kinds of weight and feeling amazing. Boy, was I wrong.

Why I need to stop running to lose weight

Turns out even though I can run 13.1 miles, sometimes up to 30 miles a week during the last few weeks of training, losing weight is not as simple as lacing up my sneakers. A few months ago I added in Crossfit because I really liked the idea of feeling like a beefcake. Again, I love the feeling I get when I’m finished with the WOD (workout of the day) and the gym I joined is full of amazing, inspiring, gracious people that make that vomiting feeling totally worth it. Again, I thought that adding in the strength training and cross training would be the boost I needed to kickstart the weight loss. Boy, was I wrong…AGAIN.

Why running isn’t going to help me lose weight

I DO realize that food is my weakness. And the reason that I can run 30 miles in one week and do a WOD without losing a pound. I REALLY love chocolate. And bread. And bacon.

You would think having Crohn’s Disease would put me on a path for better nutrition. Many people think Crohn’s patients are all super skinny because of the intestines inability to absorb nutrients. Turns out Crohn’s Disease is a little bit of a fickle butthole and patients are usually only super skinny when they are incredibly sick. I can tolerate a bag of Doritos and a hershey’s bar way better than I can tolerate a very healthy salad. Usually the more processed a food is, the better my digestion system reacts. Stupid, I know.

Knowing I love food so much, it only makes sense that I would watch what I eat and avoid the bag of cookies in the company kitchen. It wasn’t until I came across this Mile Posts blog that I finally got it. A lightbulb finally went off in my head. And to her, I am so thankful!

I don’t watch what I eat because I JUSTIFY IT. That bag of cookies was only 200 more calories and I know I’m going for a five mile run so it’ll all even out. It might even out if I was not partaking in those scrumptious sweets and carbs, but alas, I love chocolate and bread.

THIS IS WHY I NEED TO STOP RUNNING TO LOSE WEIGHT.

I need to kick the mindset that running and crossfit are going to help me lose weight. Sure, it will definitely help my efforts, but only if I take care of the nutrition part too.

Here are my goals:

1. Keep a food diary religiously. This is the only way I am going to pay attention to the tiny morsels of goodness I put in my mouth. I have a Fitbit so I’ll use that log function to monitor my calorie intake, at least as phase one. I’m not knowledge enough yet to understand what percentage of fat I should have in my diet but if you have any suggestions for great educational pieces, please note them in the comments.

2. Run and do Crossfit because I enjoy them. Not because they are a means to an end. Not because I feel like I have to do them to lose weight. Because I love the feeling I have after losing myself in a run. Because I love the intense soreness from accomplishment I have after a WOD.

Probiotics and Crohn’s Disease

Research is underway to determine how the bacteria profiles of our digestive tracts is related to Crohn’s and colitis patients. This bacteria makeup of the gut shows patients have a few things going against them:

  • There is less diversity in the gut microbes
  • The genetic makeup of the bacteria lean more toward bacteria that causes inflammation, rather than having more anti-inflammatory properties.

This could ultimately be the root cause of IBD. Think of that…we may have discovered the actual cause of Crohn’s Disease. This means we can start researching drugs that impact the cause instead of masking the symptoms.

Are Probiotics Right for Crohn’s and Colitis Patients?

Probiotics and IBD

In light of this new information, I’m left wondering, with some of my fellow crohnies, if taking a probiotic will help us better manage our disease. After hearing more patients starting probiotics, I thought it couldn’t really hurt. I’m sure I could stand to have a few more good bacteria floating around in there. After doing some research and asking for recommendations, I landed on Align.

Man, I hate it!

I started taking it a couple of weeks ago and noticed that going to the bathroom had become more difficult. I felt like I was backed up. So I stopped taking the pills and waited a little while before starting again. Just like that, I feel like I’m pooping rocks. And not easy to poop rocks, either. So, test number two. I stopped the probiotic and just like that, I’m back to what feels like normal poop (for a Crohn’s patient, that is). Just a couple of days after stopping, I notice a huge difference. No straining. No complaining.

I thinking these probiotics aren’t really for me.

So, I’m curious. Are you taking probiotics or have you tried? What brand and what were the results? I would love to hear more from patients, especially.

Image Credit

How to make sure your charity dollars are wisely invested

ALS got very lucky. One guy started an amazing movement that made it fun for people to donate to a charity, even if they had no idea what ALS actually was. As of August 25th the ice bucket challenge has raised almost $80MM.

As of Monday, August 25, The ALS Association has received $79.7 million in donations compared to $2.5 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 25). These donations have come from existing donors and 1.7 million new donors to The Association.

Yes, raising almost $80 MILLION is amazing but what’s even more staggering is they have garnered donations from 1.7 million new people. These people never knew about or had no desire to support the ALS Foundation until they could dump a bucket of ice water on their head. It may be wasting water but it’s a genius marketing tactic.

researchI love philanthropy and I am a huge supporter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and any non-profit that saves animals. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough buckets of ice water to support every charity in need of funding.

However, there are enough buckets to support charities that use their dollars wisely. I highly recommend doing the research to make sure the charity you choose to support is highly rated by a third party evaluation party like Charity Navigator or Guidestar. Do they give the majority of their fundraising dollars to research, drug development, program activities, or family support? Or do they push those dollars into advertising, marketing, paychecks or lobbying?

I’m not saying that a charity isn’t worthy. They are all ultimately helping a great cause but if there is a cause you strongly advocate for, push that charity to use its funding wisely. For example, the ALS Foundation self reports that only 28% of its funding goes toward research. CharityWatch gave the ALS Foundation a B+ rating, which isn’t too bad. However, it could be better. And I know there are many of you that will start discussing how their CEO’s get paid way too much. Every CEO gets paid way too much so, in my opinion, if the percentage of dollars going toward admin is much lower than the dollars going toward research and program development, it’s a start.

It’s full list of top-rated charities can be found here. If your charity of choice isn’t on that list, maybe it’s time to push them to use their dollars more wisely.

In case you were wondering, the CCFA is an A-rated charity and uses their dollars wisely. I can say that with confidence considering I take a lot of medications that were researched and funded by the CCFA (some right here in Colorado).

Big Gay 5K Race Recap

We donned our rainbows in support of our amazing gaybers and headed to Civic Center Park for the second annual Big Gay 5K race. The weather was turning hot at the start and we were hoping the sun would stay behind the clouds.

The race started out of Civic Center park headed east on 14th street which is, of course, right up a hill at the start. You then wind your way down 14th into Cheeseman Park where you make a quick u-ie and head back to the finish line. The first half of the race was okay; I didn’t start off fast and wasn’t expecting a great time. The second half of the race is all downhill which means I had a crazy negative split and ended up finishing with a personal best 5K time!

My new official 5K time is 34:11.

Our neighbors had a great time, as usual. We were incredibly happy to be there supporting them in all their awesomeness. Plus, I’ll run any race that allows me to wear this amazing rainbow wig!

 Brian and I before the race:

20140621_094810

 

My wig and all its glory, after racing 3 miles in the heat:

20140621_112737

 

1 2 3 22