Switching your mindset from running purely for the CALORIE BURN to running for fun/stress relief/overall health focused?

The sunshine just brings out our best moods.

For everyone involved.

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They even got some running in.  I took the kids on some errands while Andrew put together the trampoline for them so we could surprise them.

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They were very thrilled coming home to this (putting the net up today because it started getting too dark outside to fully finish).

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And we all hung out on it until our feet were a little bit too frozen and our pinks were a little too pink (or orange in my case).

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Beretta even jumped on.

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For dinner we made some sandwiches and ate them while watching Finding Dory for the 2,003th time.

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And then they quickly settled down to get ready for bed;)

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One of the easiest and most delicious snacks ever.  Apples and peanut butter.

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Oh I also got to chat with the Brooks team for a while about their amazing apparel and shoes… my favorite pair below:

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PS while we were talking about shoes with Brooks we were talking about how people have moved from the super minimalist days and are looking for more comfort and support than back then.  It took me back to the times where I used to run with the Vibram five-finger shoes.  I didn’t wear them for a very long time because they weren’t for me (after landing on a million rocks and the need for some support I said goodbye).  Did anyone else every wear these?

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PS Julie sent over 21 things you didn’t know about in-n-out  How have I never had their Neopolitan shake yet?!

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A few months ago I had a reader ask how to switch your running mindset from weight loss/burning calories to running for fun or as a stress relief?  “I can’t switch my mindset.  Any tips on how?  Or even how to get out of the funk? (question directed to literally anyone who has advice).”  <— I’m going to ask advice from YOU too!

1st… I LOVED Megan D’s instagram post yesterday.  I sure hope you can read her caption below because it is a good one.  Why aren’t we more focused on all of these other numbers that show our overall health?  Why does the scale seem to be the first thing we look at when determining our fitness/health?  I love her reminder to be focusing on these other important numbers to determine our health and to celebrate with sugar cookies of course.

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So when does running turn from such a fun thing as a kid to something that is all about weight/calories/punishment/looks/etc for some of us?  And how do we get it back?

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I DEFINITELY was in the run to burn calories camp for many many years.  It was miserable to be honest.  I was so obsessed with my weight and figuring out the perfect balance to not eat too much and burn major calories each day from working out and it took the fun out of running for me.  Using running as a tool to burn calories ONLY (of course I think it is perfectly fine to use running as way to manage your weight and to lose weight if you need to but to also use running to help your overall health mentally and physically) burned me out.  I felt constantly disappointed from running because I could never burn enough or do enough to make myself happy.  So how did I switch to running for my overall health, the fun of it, stress/anxiety relief, fitness etc?

*Getting injured helped me to bounce out of that.  I feel like the more I obsessed over BURNING ALL OF THE CALORIES, the more often I was getting injured.  During that time I wasn’t thinking about what was best for my body, recovery or overall health… I was too focused on the weight loss which resulted in injury after injury after injury.  If we are running smart and allowing our body adequate rest and recovery = injuries happen way less often.  Try looking at your body as a whole rather than just a number/size and do what is best for it as a whole.

*I think age has helped me.  I think the older I get the more I realize that I just don’t want to waste my life thinking about calories/food/weight.  I really don’t want to look back on my life when I am 70 and see that I wasted it away on focusing on those things.  I want to look back on my running as something I enjoyed doing.  Something I did to improve my health and happiness.  Something I did with friends and family.  Not something that I used as a punishment for eating too much the night before.

*With this kind of stuff this is something that Brooke really helped/helps me with.  I don’t want to live in a way where she picks up on using exercise as a negative thing or a thing that is done strictly to BURN calories.  I want her to see it as a thing that feels good, helps her to deal with stress and makes her body healthy and strong.  If I want her to think that way, I better live that way.

*I am the first to advocate professional help.  I sought help from both a nutritionist and a therapist when I was in a bad place for these kinds of things and they helped me out a ton!  It is so worth it to work with a professional if you want to change.

*Just like anything in life, I think we have the opportunity (in most cases) to be able to change our perspective on things.  Focusing on all of the negatives about running/your body?  Time to focus on the positives and those benefits.  You’ll be too busy focusing on the positives to be obsessed with the negatives.  The fresh air, the endorphins, how great it is for our lungs, heart and muscles.  The amazing focus it can bring to our lives and the me-time it brings to us each day.

*Take one day at a time.  Things like this take time and patience.  Give both of those things to yourself.  Focus on each day and make mini goals.  This isn’t something that is just fixed over night.  Looking too far ahead is stressful but seeing it as something you will work on today sounds much more doable.  It takes 21 days to become a habit (don’t they say that?!) so start now!

*Running can be really fun.  Don’t miss out on all of the fun that you can have running by burning your brain off by thinking negative about yourself and how much you need to lose or burn.  Life is WAY too short to be thinking like that.  We only get so many years of running (I mean I hope we are all running until we are 94..) so let’s enjoy them the best we can!

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What about you… ever had a problem with exercising purely for the calorie burn?  How did you change your perspective on running?  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this!

Ever run in the super minimalist shoes or the five finger shoes?

Have a trampoline?  Any fun stuff in your backyard if you have one for kids?  … looking for ideas:)  

Most common late night snack for you?

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52 comments

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This is something that I’ve tried to adequately articulate myself and I feel like I can’t exactly explain how I went from exercise from a purely calorie burning perspective to running for enjoyment, but all I know is that I DID IT. I used to spend hours at the gym just to burn calories (which is maybe why I rarely set foot inside a gym now), but now I run. Running gave me a new sense of purpose and a new outlook towards exercise. Anyway, I kind of think it’s one of those things that if you’ve been through it you get it, but otherwise people just think we’re crazy! LOL! Awesome post!

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Try signing up for a race….even a 5k :) Always helps me get out of that funk by giving me something else to focus on! It helps me remember to focus on what my body can do versus what it looks like!

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haha, glad you liked the article! Favorite late night snack over here is frozen banana slices with some sort of nut butter!

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For me, when I first started running I was so focused on losing weight and burning calories also. I would run every day sometimes twice a day, plus a bunch of other cardio and exercises. Even though I was running for the calorie burn I still fell in love with running. Over the years my mindset has just gradually changed and I am not quite sure how. I still struggle with it though that’s for sure, but I try to focus on how running makes me feel mentally because it has helped me in that aspect tremendously!

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So fun you have a trampoline now!! I’ve seen a few trampolines lately, and now I really want one! I may just have to go over to some of my friends’ with kids houses since I live in an apartment and don’t have a backyard, because I really want to jump on one now!

I love your perspective on wanting to focus more on the things that matter in the long run, like friends and family and the memories you make with those you care about. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers of running and exercise, especially when you feel like you don’t have much else going on around you. But if you focus on those loved ones in your life, your perspective can truly change. Thank you for sharing!

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I changed my goals. I made weight loss a mere side effect (or non-existent) to all of the other goals I set around running. No matter where you’re starting off you can make goals. Maybe you want to try speeding up your pace. Work toward shaving time off your average mile pace. Or pick a distance and work toward building up to that distance. A fun one could be to pick a race you want to run that’s somewhere new. Maybe a few cities over from you, or make it a fun little vacation and go out of state.

If your goals aren’t centered around weight loss you’ll find the joy in fulfilling goals around fitness. I’m always trying to be better, faster, stronger than I was yesterday. I don’t have goals around weighing less. My body will figure out it’s best weight on its own. But if I’m pushing myself and working toward other fitness goals, it feels 10x better to crush those goals then to see 1 little pound come off on the scale.

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YES! I ran in Vibram Five Fingers for a few months. I loved how natural my gait seemed in them…but they are NOT made for concrete. I constantly had blisters and shin pain and overall joint pain. I was talking to a guy at the running store about this a couple weeks ago when I went full on other extreme and bought Hokas. I definitely think Vibrams would be great if you ran soft trains (with no rocks) and grass. But running on cement is not ‘natural,’ so why should our shoes try to replicate that? I’m a solid 10 pounds heavier than I was this time last year. Granted, I had a baby in December, but with my first I lost the weight really fast. For all the reasons you stated above, I have zero desire to step on the scale and obsess over the fact that I’m slightly heavier. My running hasn’t felt this great in YEARS–my track workout yesterday was done at a 6min pace–2 months post partum. I feel strong, I’m running for FUN–not weight loss–and it’s just so much more enjoyable. I love these conversations.

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Definitely had a problem putting my self worth in how many calories I was burning…then that obsession with numbers switched to my pace/how fast I was going, which didn’t help either. I would absolutely crush races and feel so empty inside, because running numbers/data were dictating my whole life. Now is is about focusing on form, attitude, and confidence; I don’t expect my girls basketball team’s confidence to be dictated by their free throw percentage (it is soooo bad anyway lol…5th graders…) but by how they cheer each other on, how hard they work, and their overall improvement.

Also, best late night snack I have is cereal with milk and a glop of peanut butter on top. Cereal is what God gave women to say “sorry” for cramps. And chocolate.

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I’m so with you on there being no shame in asking for professional help. I still work with a therapist and I am now working with a nutritionist. I feel really lucky to be able to work with professionals, I know it can be cost prohibitive for a lot of people if their health insurance doesn’t cover it. I really wish that wasn’t the case because I know going to therapy has helped me a lot.

I’ve never run in vibrams – I love cushion – but Adam likes vibrams. He hardly ever runs but when he does he always goes out in them and I’m like o_O don’t your feet hurt?!

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My kids practically live on our trampoline, even now (7 years later). Their other favorite is a web swing, so fun!

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age definitely plays a role! you reach a point where you just know you cannot spend the rest of your life worrying about calorie burn and every morsel that you put in your mouth. it’s just not worth spending a life like that.

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I sure wish we had a trampoline!! But, given that I’m sore after going to the indoor trampoline park, it might be a good thing that I avoid the temptation on a daily basis! :)
I’m not a late night snacker. I feel like if I go to bed with a grumbly, hungry stomach, it’s not a bad thing at all!

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I realized when I achieved the goal weight that I had fixed for myself that I was mentally and physically miserable. That was a game changer. I am now better at listening to my body (instead of choosing a random number of pounds that I should be weighting) and focussing on all the amazing things that my body does for me. I have chosen strong over skinny as my priority and that changed my perspective on life and the place of exercise in it.

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I have a small trampoline I use in my living room while watching tv of course last time I took it out and placed it on the carpet I tried moving it away from the wall and forgot that it wouldn’t necessarily glide on the carpet (the legs have rubber feet) and ended up breaking half my toenail off! Never had black toenail from running but kicking the trampoline did it. lol.

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Great post Janae. I think many people don’t realize that if you are only running for calories you are setting yourself up for failure. In order to have enough energy before a race you need to intake more calories for fuel.

I put too much stress on my metatarsals so minimalist shoes are not for me.

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I am trying to lose weight, so exercise is about calorie burn for me right now and I think that’s okay. I’ve never run to punish myself for eating poorly. I just accept and move on. Yes, I’ve run a little extra or harder to burn a few more calories so I can indulge on days when I have a party or go out to eat, but that’s because I am in the process of losing weight and I want to stay on track. Don’t get me wrong, I workout for the other health benefits as well as fun, but I think it’s okay to exercise purely for calorie burn if it’s not as punishment.

My nephews have a tempoline and they love it!

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I love running so so much for my me time that it has never been about the calorie burn. HOWEVER, I have used it (and have recently, if we are being honest) to burn off a little extra. We were spontaneously invited, with 10 minute warning, to a dear friend’s daughter’s b-day dinner. As with the above mentioned comment about Brooke, I wanted to just enjoy for this little girl her maccoroni and cheese request and her brownie birthday cake. And I did enjoy that, that is not a lie. But, there was a thought that planned for a little bigger workout for the following day. I do not feel like that came from a disordered place though, just sort of a way to regain a balance for myself, while being present for the birthday party. If this is happening too often for the reader, maybe a question to reflect on would be are you eating the way someone else wants or thinks you should be too often? Why?

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I try to remember that nutrition is most important and properly fueling my body for it to be healthy and functioning. Exercise is also for health but not to keep my weight stable. (If you’re injured and can’t work out, then what happens)? I shared this quote the other day, “Exercise is not a punishment for what you ate, it’s a celebration of what your body can do.” Exercise addiction is a real thing and therapy can help when you are unable to switch your mindset.

I took tumbling and trampolining in college. I had to take 2 gym classes and I had liked the teacher. Spoiler alert – it was the only class I got a C in. We were told the first day if you weren’t a gymnast you weren’t getting an A. That didn’t make me work very hard…

A banana with a little almond butter is my go to evening snack.

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I was anorexic when I was 14 and amazingly got over it by the time I was 15 but still did (sometimes do) have some disordered relationships to food and exercise. One thing that helped was playing sports again in college since high school swimming and running had ended (mostly ultimate frisbee and racquetball) where my performance and success weren’t directly correlated to my weight and I could see that having a healthy body wasn’t all about its weight and I also began to see running and exercise as ways to get me prepared to do better at the sports instead of purely for weight loss. I guess having something to train for helped switch the mentality from exercising to burn calories to exercising with a purpose. I still see that when I have a race on the horizon and running takes on more of a purpose than just to get a workout in for the day.

As for minimalism, I ran in Vibrams briefly after reading Born to Run but it was enough to help me switch from rear foot striking to forefoot striking and then I moved to Saucony Kinvaras and haven’t gone back. Love them! I eventually was so interested in the subject of injury rates among different foot strike patterns (I went from being injured every few weeks to having had 2 injuries in the last 6 years after switching how I ran and being able to triple my weekly mileage and still not get injured…apparently my body hates me when I rearfoot strike) that I did my master’s degree thesis on the subject.

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It does alarm me with the amount of fasting and low-calorie diets I see with endurance athletes these days. I love the balance and I promote eating all the foods because not honouring your hard working body will only lead to injury. Loved the reminder.

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I had a huge problem with exercising only for the calorie burn in and right after college. Every single morning at 6am I used to go to a hot yoga class and then would run on the treadmill for exactly one hour every day after classes and was not eating anywhere near enough calories. It took me a really long time to change this perspective, and it’s still not totally changed. I think that dating my boyfriend really helped. He has shown me that exercise is a fun activity we can do together and the beauty in going out to eat to try new delicious food/drinks. When I think of exercise as an activity and not something I HAVE to do, my mindset changes.

My most common late night snack currently is the Costco frozen berries that are supposed to go in smoothies with a little lemon juice on top. Really random, but it works haha

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This hits very close to home. I work in a pediatric weight management clinic at a children’s hospital…we work EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. to help youth and families shift from a focus on weight = health to health being about our health behaviours (how we eat, how we move, how we cope with stress, and our sleep habit) and the indicators of success being mental health & physical health…and not what the numbers says on the scale. It’s not easy…the weight loss industry is very powerful and very rich.

On a completely different note, I have such hair envy with Brooke!! lol

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Your kids will have so much fun with the trampoline! As a teen friends of mine had one and I’m pretty sure we spent hours jumping on it, but even more time just laying on it and talking. So many good memories!

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I think whenever you learn to truly love yourself (and to adopt running as a lifestyle) you’ll mindset will change. Just like that.

I never ran ONLY for burning the calories, so I’m not quite sure that I know what it is to have that mindset. However, I’m sure that once I felt in love for running I started paying attention to the calories burned so that I could refill them. Nothing is more important to me now than properly nourishing my body to be able to keep running the smart and healthy way.

So yeah, I guess my advice will be to love yourself :)

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This is a great post! And, fun, trampoline!!

I am still working on this but I took a good 4 months off from anything over 6 miles. My obsession with burning calories had gotten out of control. During this time, I focused on strength training. Also, however, I was using running to burn calories to lose weight but also to justify binge eating. It was incredibly unhealthy.

I’m now trying to just eat intuitively and run based on the training plan I have. Body acceptance, meaning accepting my body for what it is today and letting it find its happy place, will be a big part of this process. Still working on it! I also recently booked an appointment with a counsellor who hopefully can help :)

Thanks, as always, for your honest and genuine shares!

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A huge way I changed my focus was to stop weighing myself. As soon as that number had nearly no control over me, so many things in life are better. Also, try focusing on others for most the day, spreading love and kindness instead of focusing too much time on ourselves helps tremendously.
And of course my twins have helped me. I no longer run to size down or get frustrated about my pace, because I’m pushing a double stroller, so I give myself a pass on pace ;) and I want them to see exercise each day as a fun activity. Love this post :)

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Ok, first off … I need Megan’s shirt! My husband and even kids now are always saying to me “when are you not hungry?”! lol!
I love the red cheeks and t-shirts … everyone looks so happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As far as running to have fun suggestions … find friends to run with! I (re)started running after my 2nd kiddo to lose weight, and signed up for some races to have a goal. Having the goal of finishing the races took my mindset off of trying to lose weight because I knew that would happen naturally. Within the last year or so I’ve met some amazing women who run for the sport of it, for the challenge it gives them and for the fun of running.
Happy belated birthday by the way! I’m always late. I was even almost too late delivering my second kid!

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Right? My family teases me about my ability to always want to eat. I got the t-shirt from a boutique where I grew up. They don’t have it online, but I know she ships orders all the time for costumers out of state. You just have to call and place an order over the phone. It is called Bella Me Boutique https://www.facebook.com/shopbellame/

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I have a pair of Merrill barefoot running shoes. They are pretty minimal but not completely barefoot either.

It’s surprising how easily you can take cushioning for granted. Once I trained for a while in my Merrills it was almost shocking to go back to my normal high cushion running shoes.

I could feel the advantages of minimalism with shoes — as my feet were definitely stronger and you have to be so much more aware of your stride, footfall, and form.

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When I’m snacking at night, I tend to go for the more savory snacks like chips and salsa for instance. My husband, on the other hand goes straight for the chocolate!

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I vote a sand and water table (only I never put sand in- too messy). My kids have played with it since the time they were toddlers. It’s also a great way to cool off and feel like they are swimming without you getting in with them. We put cars, boats, plastic sea animals, play kitchen dishes, barbies in and it entertains for hours. Best summer toy and mine has room for two kids to play together!

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*without getting in a pool with them. :)

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Wow your question about how to get back into running as a stress reliever versus a calorie burning is so relevant in my life. I started running competitively as a middle school student and loved it and then it switched over to a calorie burning/still running competitively. For me I think the change back to enjoying it as a stress reliever is recognizing you may need to seek out help. I think age helps (I am in my 30s now), having a kid was incredibly humbling, and I also think running with no watch or electronics helps too. One of my favorite things now is running early on a Sunday morning and seeing the sun rise. It is there that I remember how amazing it is that I get to run and it’s for me not burning calories. I don’t think the struggle ever goes away but it gets better.

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The mindset shift is huge and something I am glad has finally started to sink in for me (after lots and lots of reminding myself). It helps that I can’t run far too ;) I am not burning a lot of calories on my 4 and 5 mile runs, but I am enjoying the outdoors and my alone time and the way it makes my body feel when I am done running. My numbers yesterday weren’t the ‘best’ and need improvement, but when I make choices with what I should eat or how I should move my body, I am doing it because I want the INSIDE of my body to be healthy (that includes my mental health too) and not because I want the outside of my body to look a certain way. Because the outside of our bodies doe NOT always show whether or not we are healthy. I love you and I love this post. You have been an example to me throughout our friendship of having a healthy attitude in regards to our bodies and stopping the obsession. Thank you for that!

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I shifted from burning calories as a goal as running became more fun. My biggest suggestion- run with people you like and then the social aspect becomes fun/stress relief/therapy naturally. My other thought- post baby, all runs feel like escape. The same thing used to happen during big trials. The more stressed you are, the better relief running is. If you aren’t as stressed, you won’t need the relief so just focus on fun.

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In-N-Out Neapolitan shakes are the best!

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Our kids have a trampoline and it’s awesome! We like putting a volleyball type ball in the middle and then you have to run around the trampoline and try to avoid getting hit by the ball. The movement created from running makes the ball bounce all over the place! Even the grown ups have fun with this one 😉.

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I definitely had an unhealthy relationship with running for a long time, most of high school and college actually. The shift in perspective for me wasn’t necessarily intentional though. Once I started doing races, it kind of happened naturally. I was so amazed at what my body was capable of that I just started challenging myself in new ways (to get faster, stronger, build my endurance, etc). I started eating better because I was craving healthier things and I started eating more simply because my body was telling me to—my stomach is a very loud talker when it wants something ;) Running has given me so much more confidence in my body and my mind than I thought possible. I love it.

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I SO relate to this. I probably wasn’t the healthiest when I started running – I ran too much and ate too little. I did not fuel my runs which meant that I didn’t perform as good as I could have (I see this now, I was blind to it then). Getting injured 100% changed this for me. I’ve gone through short spurts of injury but I’ve had a recent injury that has been lingering for over 1.5 years now. I couldn’t/can’t run and you know what? The sun still rises every morning. My clothes still fit, maybe a bit more snuggly but I didn’t have this massive weight gain that I feared. I also found other activities to do.

Age is also huge. I’ve realized that I want to be healthy to hike with my husband and for a future child. I want to be strong , not skinny.

One challenge though is that I tend to eat much better when I’m running — “I can’t eat pizza at lunch because my stomach will kill on my run.” I’ve had a hard time balancing.

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I would love to hear more about people changing perspective on burning calories while working out. I feel like it’s a constant battle for me. Sometimes my perspective is super healthy and sometimes it’s way off. I think the best way that I have found so far to change my mindset is to really focus on healthy behaviors (rather than beating myself up/feeling guilty for unhealthy behaviors) and to focus on others.

We have a pool that takes up about 90% of our backyard, but I wouldn’t change that because we use it for about 4 months straight during the summer months ;)

I just recently tried Halo Top ice cream and it is seriously the best. Another favorite night time snack lately is frozen grapes. Yummo! I had to buy 2 bags this week because I was going through them so quickly!

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Such an important topic! Here is my perspective:

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer on my 26th birthday (she was 50.) After an 8 year battle she passed away at the young age of 58. I read everything I could get my hands on regarding breast cancer, genetics, etc. I had been running for a few years at the time and realized that having a healthy, strong body was equally, if not more important than genetics when it comes to cancer. A good number on the scale is nice, but like Megan D. said, great numbers at the doctor’s office are so much more important!

One other thing that helped me years ago is an article called “Why the Scale Lies.” (http://www.healthdiscovery.net/articles/scale_lies.htm) Even when you’re burning tons of calories, the scale may not tell you what you want to hear. A better measurement is how your clothes fit.

If you are stuck in a rut with running only to burn calories, it might be time to try something new. I will always be a runner, but by throwing in a couple of bike rides a week (or tennis or hiking or whatever you love!) then it becomes something you do for enjoyment and the calorie burn is just a bonus.

The funny thing about calorie burning is different devices (watches, phones, heart rate monitors, etc.) can give you different numbers. I blogged about it a couple years ago – comparing what four different apps gave me on the same runs. (https://mcmarathonmoments.blogspot.com/2015/10/how-many-calories-did-i-really-burn.html) “On the low end, Suunto gave me 51-72 calories a mile, while TrainingPeaks gave me 139-160 calories a mile! That’s more than double, with Saturday’s number being more than triple! That’s very scary to think about if you rely on “calories burned” to determine your calorie intake for the day.”

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No trampolines for us. My girls are teenagers now. We have a hammock and fire pit in our backyard that we enjoy. My parents have a pool and badminton net in theirs. We have some highly competitive family badminton tournaments!

I try to avoid late night snacks. Once I start eating after dinner, I can’t stop!

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I’m lucky/unlucky in the fact that running is a great weight maintenance tool for me but I’ve never been able to lose weight with it. But, I still get caught up in the calorie vs scale battle more often than I’d like. I think Megan D. has a great solution for that. Get a physical or a blood panel done to look at your numbers (many insurance companies give you a reward/rebate for doing this). Pay attention to what THOSE numbers say. I remember when I did that once and I had a resting heart rate in the low 60’s. The nurse asked “Are you a runner?” When I confirmed it she said, “Yep. All the runners have low resting heart rates. You’d be surprised what we nurses know about people based off of heart rate and blood pressure.” It was a lightbulb moment for me and since then, I run for health and a mental break rather than to “burn all the calories!”

Another thing that helps when I get going on the calorie inferno spiral is to switch up my crossing training (or even add it if I’m out of practice on it). I make myself do other exercises first, like HIIT, Spin, Swimming, Hiking, etc, before I let myself think about running. Usually I’m too tired to run after that from working different muscles. After a week or two I’m more able to come back around to running with a healthier mindset.

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To be honest, I always have and still continue to struggle to not make calorie burning the major reason I run (even though I am at a perfectly healthy weight). I truly do love running for all the other reasons, but that is a desire that creeps in… and when it does, it usually ruins it. Running fueled by guilt is never as good as running ruled by desire. But I’ve come a long way in the last two years to making running chiefly about enjoyment for me.

I had a trampoline as a kid… good on you for making sure you got a net, we never had one and it resulted more than once in some injuries for me and my brothers, haha.

My go-to late night snack for the last few months has been Pop Tarts… a food I never would have ~~~let myself eat~~~ a couple years ago. *roll my eyes* I don’t care if they’re not the healthiest snack, they’re delicious.

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Hmmm, my favorite late night snack has to be some type of nut butter (by the spoonful) with chocolate chips on top! So easy and delicious. I love your perspective on running for the sheer joy of running + health benefits and not about how many calories are burned, etc.

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Lucky kids, I always wanted a trampoline! I had a terrible exercise addiction when I was in college. I was a very very good student at the time and never (seriously) missed or was late to class. I knew it had gotten really bad when I was 30 mins late to class one day and arrived sweaty in short shorts and a tank top straight from the gym.. I just couldn’t get off the treadmill until i hit an ‘acceptable’ number! it was bad! I was later forced to take time off from exercise (from my doctor and parents) until I had gained some weight, and then I worked through it on my own trying to figure out how to balance it. The main thing for me was really just realizing that how heavy or thin I am does not affect my life in any way (except for being too thin made me a not fun person (and I was always cold)).

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I’ve been struggling with this for years and I think I’m finally starting to make the switch over. I love running solely for it’s freeing feeling in the moment, but it’s when I’m not running that the “calorie burning mentality” creeps in. Thanks for sharing your story and being so open, it helps to see that there’s potential to shift my mentality eventually!!

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Best late night snack. . . CEREAL!! There have been LATE nights ok more like SUPER early mornings that i have woken up from bein g so hungry and I ran to the kitchen for a bowl of Cereal!!!

Love those big trampolines. Definitely a must when we have kids. A family that I babysit for they have a springless trampoline and that thing is amazing. I get on there and re-live my gymnastic days!! The kids love it!

Now to the most important topic. . . Everytime I get ready to run the verse “your body is a temple”. That always puts my running and workouts at a better perspective. I think its VERY easy to fall into the trap of running to stay skinny or burn off the extra calories, unfortunately our society has made us think skinny is the way to be instead of pushing to just be healthy. I dealt with an eating disorder all through high school, college and in my early 20’s. As much as I used exercise to control things I actually hated doing it. It was more of a chore to me. Then I got married and I started to really put life into perspective. Now it was not only me but it was my husband who needed me strong and healthy and not skinny. It took time but I got to such a healthy point in my life and food and exercise became enjoyable instead of a chore. I love to eat but I also love to work out. I love what food does for my body and yes I’m still splurge when I want and its the greatest feeling to do it because I know I deserve it and I do not feel guilty. And running and working out is something I truly enjoy for my health!! I love knowing what healthy eating and a healthy style truly is!!!

Such a great post and I know so many readers benefited from it!! You rock Janae!! XO

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Love love love this post.
I started running over 25 years ago in high school to get in shape for the incoming softball season. I gained confidence, increased my endurance, built muscle, and lost about 25 lbs. I also found that I absolutely loved running! And have ever since.
Fortunately, I haven’t ever focused on the ‘calorie burn’ because I run for the pure joy of running! I love that feeling of challenging myself, finding and sometimes exceeding my limits, exploring, feeling my body work. Sometimes I amaze myself, sometimes I dissapoint myself. And everytime I head out the door, I am unsure of what to expect. This is what keeps me going. I am a work in progress every day. And as long I keep enjoying it, I will keep doing it!

I was just saying to my friend yesterday how upsetting I find it when people in my hot yoga class are tirelessly peering at their iwatches….checking how many calories they burned. They are missing all the fun, in my opinion! And life is just too short not to enjoy whatever time we have.

It is unfortunate that we live in a society where there is so much focus on outward appearance. This makes for the urgency and desire for deprivation and unrealistic ideas of health. I have learned that the teeny-tiniest or the heaviest person in the room can amaze you with their strength and endurance.

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From my first 17 minute run around the neighborhood before freshman year of high school until I was in my late 20s I ran for the calorie burn number. a love/hate relationship with my body and food and calories and numbers characterized my young adult life.

My mindset shifted slooooowly throughout my pregnancies and birth and post-partum times of my three children. I became so aware of my body and listening to it, respecting it, taking care of it in general. Now at the ripe old age of 32 I can honestly say I don’t think I’ll spend another minute counting up a day’s or a run’s worth of calories again. It’s so freeing!!

The number game is tricky, too, because as much as people say it’s all a “calories in, calories out” game … It sure doesn’t feel like that with my body. It’s always changing thanks to pregnancy, breastfeeding, cycles starting again for a short time before we have another baby.

However, the scale. Oh the scale! I still will let three pounds throw me off my game. Blech!!

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Thanks for this post, Janae! For me a big factor was who I surrounded myself with. In college, I lived with girls who were very focused on calorie burn, and it’s very easy to fall into that mode. Once I moved on from that and surrounded myself with friends who loved to run and bike and ski for the camaraderie and the love of the outdoors it was a game changer. Oh the things I wish I could tell my younger self!!!

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love love love this post! i can TOTALLY relate on so many levels! there are a million things that have helped changed my mindset…i’ll be honest. there ARE some days that those awful thoughts come in like: OMG you should run farther after you ate what you did last night…or oh come on – that is NOT a lot of miles… etc! (you get the idea) -but i definitely think that unfortunately it takes a LOW to really put you in your place. like injury. when you simply physically CAN’T run at all because your body won’t let you you remember how much running does for your peace of mind, sanity and endorphins! It makes you grateful for the days you CAN run and for the days you have a great run. I try to focus on all that I HAVE done in a day vs. what i didn’t get done. its life changing! My daily personal development has played a large role too. I am so much more than a number of calories burned, the number of miles i’ve logged for the week or a number on a scale. It just takes time…patience…learning yourself…and surrounding yourself with people that lift you up too!

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