3 Years of Sobriety

On a daily basis, many people from all walks of life inspire me. I’ve been listening to David Goggins’ podcasts lately. David is an Ex-NAVY SEAL, fellow ultra-endurance athlete, and an all around total bad-ass. After hearing David’s direct message of “stop asking the questions and just fucking do it,” I have moved literally from hearing his message of inspiration to putting it into action.

Being in recovery for me has been about taking action, about having the willingness to see things from a different perspective. For so many years, I remained satisfied with how life was going, unwilling to take a look at the various character defects that penetrated my being. Confidence as person, self-image issues, and a constant need for reassurance, were just a few that have been prevalent for me.  Drinking and drugs were symptoms of my lack of courage to step outside of this comfort zone and really ask the questions of who the fuck I am.

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3 Years Sober

The day I stopped drinking, February 11th, 2014, I made a decision that I could simply no longer handle alcohol.  At the time, my action was to stay away from picking up the first drink.  Today, in recovery, taking action is about so much more.  Every day revelations abound about who I am, what I stand for, and what I do.

There is absolutely no way that I could have predicted what would happen in the future on the day I stopped drinking.  Today, which occupies that future, I’m living out a fucking fantasy of pursuing a lifelong childhood dream of becoming a professional athlete.  I have no idea where this process will take me, perhaps nowhere, perhaps somewhere unimaginable.  But how I proceed is not about the end goal or the end result; it’s about finding out what it means to put my heart, soul, and every shred of energy into a process for which no blueprint exists, for which no determinations can be made.

More so, I have amassed the confidence to write my own memoir about what led up to the day that I decided to stop drinking. Through the act of writing, I am able to continue drilling down into my core and my haunting past so that I am able to understand specifically where I came from and what I need to confront in myself.  In recovery, a clear component is to let go of the past, forget about the future, and live in the present. For this alcoholic, it is important to respect the past and use those experiences to continue to mold a new life and carve out new paths which I never thought could exist.

So many aspects of my life have changed since 2014. Those changes really astound me.  Back then, my main concerns had to do with not making enough money, not having enough girls in my life, and where I was going to get my next drink.  Each apprehension was like a drug where I chased the proverbial high each could provide.  I’m relieved to say that now, today, none of these worries have the power and control they once had over me.

This February 11, I begin another new chapter as I turn the page on the third year of laying off booze.  I’m focusing on what it means to participate in the journey of self-discovery. In the past I was terrified to know the answer.  Today I’m fucking stoked to be able to explore this notion in an honest and authentic way.

There’s no finish line to this process. The one rule that I have established for myself is to not drink or use.  That’s it.  As long as I follow this rule every single day I am convinced that true self-discovery will continue.  How can it not?  The last three years of physical, mental, and spiritual growth are legitimate reliable proof that this process is indeed working.  Today I feel like one of the luckiest dudes in the world, happy in the life I’m living.  Sure there are bumps and bruises along the way, but they are far less destructive and entirely more manageable than they used to be.

In the spirit of David Goggins, I have come to the conclusion that I’ve spent my entire life asking questions of myself.  Can I do this? Can I achieve that? Can I be this, can I be that?  I’m sick of living this way, in self-bondage, and am ready to move forward with the mindset that if I think I can do it and if I want to do it then I am just fucking gonna do it.

Thank you to everyone who has traveled with me over the last three years.  May we continue on this journey together, a little bit, each and every day.

Notes:

Check out David’s conversation with Rich Roll that helped me wade through the inspiration to take some action:  http://www.richroll.com/podcast/david-goggins/

Edited by Lyn Horton

 

 

 

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Run or Die? Damn Straight Kilian

I ran yesterday for the first time in a month,  for 100 meters.  It felt amazing.

Back in early December I went up to Orcas Island, WA, for a 3 day training camp.  On the last day of camp I pissed off my right Achilles something fierce.  With the injury I was out of commission for a full month.

The month of December was pretty shitty for me in many regards. Not running was a tough challenge in a couple of different ways.  First, not being able to run sent me into a panic of sorts, mainly due to the fact that I didn’t know at first when I’d be able to return.  Damn it, I was going to lose fitness, gain weight, etc, etc.  In terms of upcoming races I had to forgo February’s Orcas Island 100 miler.  Taking time off to nurse an injury for this long was not conducive to good fitness heading into my 2nd 100 miler.  Yeah, I still could do it, but at what cost?  Further injury? It just wasn’t worth it.

Secondly, and more importantly, the lack of endorphins over the month did a number on my sanity.  My body is so accustomed to physical training that without it my ability to stay present, mindful, and in the moment, goes out the door.  Every day became a struggle as I searched for something to latch onto to help replace said endorphins.  I would have bouts of frustration, fear, anger, panic, and anxiety, several times a day.  These symptoms induced a pretty bad depressive episode which culminated on Christmas Day.

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The tale of Kilian Jornet.  Such a good read!

For Christmas I had plans to go to a friend’s house here in Corvallis.  In the morning I talked to both of my parents and spent a bit of time around friends in recovery.  Around 11AM that morning I plummeted into a hole.  I felt a sense of absolute debilitation.  I couldn’t speak to anyone and the thought of being around people was terrifying. Therefore, I cancelled my plans for dinner that evening.  For the remainder of the day I turned off my phone and curled up in a ball on the couch, wondering when this episode of depression would pass.  It was possibly the worst Christmas I’ve ever had.

Luckily things began to improve from there.  The following week I started a rehab program for my Achilles which involved short sessions of pool running.  During the second session I found myself smack in the middle of a water aerobics class, training along to Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On (directed at the class over a loudspeaker),  shaking my head and managing a laugh as to how this scene might look from the outside.  I was humbled to say the least.   Even with short 20-25 min pool sessions I noticed that some endorphins started to kick back in, I began to feel more mindful, quiet, and peaceful. It certainly wasn’t the same as logging miles on the trails but it would have to do for the time being.  Mornings became good again until around 2:30PM.  For some reason right around mid-afternoon I began to get frustrated and anxious again.  I could not handle the juxtaposition of the two mood sets.

New Years Eve has been the hardest holiday for me in terms of the process of attempting sobriety.  This particular NYE brought back several memories as 10 years ago to the day I had proposed to my then-fiancee.  Luckily, to my good fortune, I was able to involve myself with my new world, ultra-running, even though I was injured.  For NYE this year I was able to host a 50 kilometer group run in my favorite area to run, the Dunn Forest, just north of Corvallis.  Even though I was not able to participate in the event just being out in the woods with friends was such a great way to get out of my own head.  I enjoyed every minute of it!  Towards the end of the day I didn’t even really think about it being NYE, in fact, I was sound asleep by 8:30PM that night.  Ringing in the New Year, introvert style!

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The crew that came out for the first annual NYE Dunn 50k fun run.  

Now that there is a light at the end of tunnel in terms of recovering from being injured I am, yet again, processing to the fullest extent what running means to me.  Again, I’m reminded that it isn’t all about racing and results for me; running has become the glue to my recovery program.  Although dramatic, maybe it is about life or death for me? Running provides a unique sense of balance and an unwavering feeling of calmness and clarity.  The pure act of running allows my mind to get a reprieve from itself.  For me, once my mind gets going and the squirrel cage starts to rattle, I’m one step closer to taking another drink.  And if that happens there is no telling where I would go.  A critical take-away for me is that I know  there will be other setbacks as I move forward in pursuing my goal of becoming a professional runner.  So, in the future how am I going to handle these situations?  Rather than obsess about running again, now that I’m closing in on 100% health,  it’s probably a smart idea to assess what I can do apart from training.  “In times of peace prepare for war.”  Guitar?  Writing?  Both tremendous possibilities.

I’m hoping that by sharing this someone else can relate to the pain of being injured.  Yes, I was only out for a month, which in the grand scheme of things is a short amount of time.  Many runner friends of mine have been injured for up to year!  I cannot even imagine what that would be like.  Regardless, I believe it is important for people, runners in this instance, to share their experience and frustration, not only with the injury process, but with life itself.  The conversations that I’ve had over the last month with fellow ultra-runners have helped me to maintain a perspective.  Through those conversations now I  understand that as bad as it may seem there is hope that, this too, shall pass.

 

 

 

 

 

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St. Lawrence University – When Life Became Dark

The following excerpt is from my memoir describing what St. Lawrence was like after I had quit the ski team in the middle of my Junior year.  Apologies in advance if this too dark for some folks, it’s my story and it’s the truth.   Enjoy the preview!  

Note:  this is largely un-edited.  My new editor is helping me in tighten it all up.  

After having quit the ski team I felt liberated.  The pressure that I had put onto myself to be a competitive athlete since the age of 12 seemed to lift the instant I walked away from the sport.  At first it was a significant event in life to celebrate.  I no longer had the responsibility to show up for Sunday morning long runs with the team.  6AM strength/gym sessions became a thing of the past.  In a matter of just a few days I changed every habit in my life that I had maintained for the last several years.  I began to replace the old habits with new ones such as Monday UBU-IPA nights at the Glass Onion, Tuesday Labatt Blue nights at the Hoot Owl, Wednesday night Flip Cup nights at the Tick Tock, Thursday night party nights wherever the party was at, and Friday and Saturday frat parties, mixers, and all out ragers.  To cap it off I would typically spend Sunday nights in the library pretending to study with friends;  studying had taken on a new form: blowing Adderall and drinking cocktails while reading books about the history of Economics and Rocks for Jocks, also known as Geology 101.

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Celebrating  my new freedom after  quitting the St. Lawrence Ski Team.  My skis boots were replaced by a new set of kicks…my drinking shoes.

As the debauchery and transgressive behavior progressed for the remainder of my Junior year I felt a slight change occurring in my mind and body.  The more substances I put into myself the less better that I felt.  Perhaps my body was really starting to recognize the profound shift that I had put myself through since quitting the ski team.  In the place of the natural endorphins that I was accustomed to receiving on a daily basis as an athlete I was manufacturing a new type of endorphin, paying no respect to what it could do to me in the long run.  Until I graduated in 2002 my life became darker and darker each day.

My senior year at St. Lawrence got even more sinister.  It was during my first semester that a buddy of mine introduced me to a new sensation.  There was no doubt that I had spent the last year indulging in excessive behavior.  However, the ante was about to be raised.  One evening in the fall of 2001 when our semesters’ pledges were inducted into Phi Kap my buddy Chris pulled me aside and asked if I wanted a bump.  Of Adderall?  Sure, I was always down for some addy’s.  “Nah” he responded. “Ive got something better.”  Enter cocaine.  The second that shit found its way into my system I was in love.  At the time excessive  drinking was still fun but it was losing it’s overall spark and glamour.  Once coke entered the picture I had successfully re-lit the fire and my enthusiasm for a good party.  Having not thought it was possible that I could sustain my current destructive tendencies through graduation I quickly latched on to my new solution.

Restocked with a new weapon I was convinced that the  debauchery could now continue with relative ease for the remainder of the year.   With my new-found partner in crime I thrived until the day I graduated.  I had a new  trick in my toolbox to keep the party going.  Interestingly enough when I got more into speed all of the work that I had done around campus since freshmen year, in terms of my social exploits, started to wane. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the fact that I knew everyone and that I was “known” around campus.  However, the energy that I had put into achieving that status was no longer as important  to me as was getting fucked up.  I cannot remember even a two-day stretch where I wasn’t hammered.  Much of my senior year I did my best Nikki Sixx impression of his dark days in the mid to late 1980’s.  I even had the leather pants to prove it.

One Saturday in the spring of 2002, during the final countdown to graduation day, I took the emulation of my 80’s rock star hero as far as I could go without going into full-on junky mode.  It was just another typical day for me.  Buffy and I had started the party early at the Phi Kap house by sipping mimosas (substituting the champagne for warm Natty Ice).  Fortunately for us one of the sororities, Kappa Kappa Gamma, was throwing their annual Kegs and Eggs event at the Tick Tock, potentially the dirtiest bar in all of the north country of New York state.  After getting good and fueled up off of our brilliant poor-as-fuck senior concoction we made our way down to start the real party.  It was 11AM.  As Buffy and I sat around the bar pounding Coors Lights (at this point we were the only ones at the party) I had the sensation that I could possibly black-out 3 times within a 24 hour span.  With having  already completed a third of that accomplishment just hours ago, after a full-on rager at Phi Kap’s off campus house, I paid no attention to the potential consequences.  After that fleeting thought I snapped out of it and chugged another Coors Light.  After a few hours of getting fucked up with Buffy and the Kappa girls I once again slipped into a blackout.  Two down, one to go!  The next several hours are lost from my memory.

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Spring of my junior year at St. Lawrence.  At this point the partying was still innocent to a degree as I had not yet made the jump to speed.

Somehow that afternoon I had found my way back to campus.  Not sure where Buffy went, I wondered if he had passed out in a ditch somewhere, much like I had done during the previous weekend.  On that  particular occasion I was so fucked up that Jamal, the captain of the SLU soccer team, pulled me off the sidewalk in the early afternoon after having passed out in broad daylight. It’s probably fair to say that he saved my ass in a big way that day.  Thanks Jamal.

Coming back to the afternoon at hand, in a complete blackout mind you, I had made my way with a bunch of my boys to the Pub, one of main dining halls on campus.  Apparently there was a concert being played there later in the evening.  Luckily, after getting some food in my system to help appease and counteract the drinking I had been doing since 7AM, I began to crawl out of my blackout.  The next thing I remember is being on stage, with an electric guitar strapped around my neck and the microphones/amps turned on, belting out a despicable version of the Poison anthem “Every Rose has it’s Thorn.”  It was fucking epic.  I had an audience of about 100 holding lighters in the air singing along to every note.  “God-damn” I thought, I have become Nikki fucking Sixx.  The story goes that I had summoned up the liquid courage while eating to think that it was a good idea to serenade the entire dining hall.  I had the stage, the lights, the guitar, and the look to be what I had always wanted to be over the last year.  A motherfuckin’ rock star.  After my 15 minutes of fame were up I re-grouped with the boys and made my way back to the Tick Tock for another Saturday evening of chaos.  And yes, once again, I blacked out.  With flying colors I actualized the sensation that I had earlier that morning.  In the last 24 hours I had been to the Tick Tock 3 times and I had blacked out 3 times.  My justification for all the destruction that I was doing to my body was that for once I got the chance to be a rockstar.  I had successfully completed the perfect day. I was overcome by an eery sense of pride.

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Humility Through Injury For This Alcoholic

Humility: a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.

I pissed off my Achilles tendon last week while finishing up a training camp on Orcas Island, WA.  At first I assumed that I’d be back up and running in a few days.  8 days later I’m still patiently waiting for the tightness to subside.  The cause?  Who really knows for sure.  I’m done speculating.  Today I’m just continuing to rest.

When I first got sober I was pretty convinced that I was one of the most humble people who I knew of.  Many of my friends mentioned that they viewed me this way so I therefore assumed that as an identity and hence prided myself off of being humble.  For me and my ego pretending to be humble was just one of the ways that I masked my true being.

Lately I’ve had several conversations with friends about what humility means.  As defined, humility is a modest or low view of one’s own importance.  The more I talk about the subject and the more I get honest with myself the more that I understand that humility is something that I don’t necessarily understand.  I don’t believe I’m being too hard on myself in saying this.  Here’s why:

Over the last week or so of being injured I’ve had bouts of being the victim, not being able to complete the “perfect” training cycle leading up to Orcas 100.  What is “perfect” anyways?  Intermittently I’ve felt sorry for myself and down on myself.  Luckily I’ve been open enough to listen to other friends who describe their own physical struggles to be reminded that I’m not necessarily the only one who is dealing with a physical ailment.  Hell, one of my best friends hasn’t been able to run in 4 + years because of an injury he sustained at TransRockies in 2012.  Running ailments aside I have also come to learn that a few friends are dealing with so much more. Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, to name just a few.  We’re talking life or death here, not just a 2 week lay off because of a tight muscle.  After I started hearing more and more of these stories I began to feel a little down on myself, I was trapped in the notion that my ailment was the most important thing in the world. Hello, ego.   Right or wrong in this thinking it was a quick reminder that I needed a daily reprieve from myself.  I needed some perspective and in doing so was again reminded that I’m not the center of the universe.

Going back to my early days in sobriety I found myself surrounded, luckily, by folks that were indeed humble.  I wanted what they had.  Having been successful in the ability to portray myself in a different light in the past I immediately started to act as if I were humble.  “Act as if,” right?  I’d heard that saying quite a bit in my life as a corporate hustler.  After a few months of pretending to be humble a guy came up to me and said that he was impressed that I had adopted a sense of humility.  My response?  Yes I HAVE!  I had reached my goal of being labelled as a humble individual.  Hello again, ego.

Again, I am reminded that this is a process.  Having been ego-driven for so long I cannot expect to wake up one day having adopted a sense of humility, it doesn’t seem to work that way for this alcoholic.  Among the many things that I am grateful for is having some wonderfully influential friends and role models that help me see there is an easier way to go about life.  The more I strive for humility the more goal oriented I get; hence, the more my ego comes into play.  For me it will continue to be important to try to detach from the achievement of attaining humility.  Don’t get me wrong, goals are important.  I have plenty of them.  However, for me, achieving humility is not something that I need get as soon as possible. For me this journey is still very much a day-to-day process.

As for my Achilles it’ll be fine if I take the time to rest.  I know this.  My ego hates to admit it  but maybe this break came at a good time.  Perhaps it was gut check time, an opportunity to re-gain a bit of perspective.  Although it bugs the hell out of me that I can’t get after it on the trails I have found myself getting back in touch with some of life’s simpler pleasures like reading, meditating, and playing acoustic versions of several Metallica songs on my guitar.

That’s all I’ve got today, time to go fetch some more ice!

 

 

 

 

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You’re All I Ever Wanted

I’ve been lucky to be in some tremendous relationships over my life.  To this day I remain close with many of the women that I’ve dated throughout my time.  In fact someone I dated during my first years at St. Lawrence University continues to be one of my best friends, even though we don’t see each other very often.  For me,  the relationships I’ve had, for the most part, have been very important and meaningful.  Even though the relationship part of the equation didn’t work out I still value the bond of the friendships that were developed over the time that I’d spent with each.  I wish I could say that were true for all of my past relationships, unfortunately I cannot.  Today I accept that.

I’ve also been lucky to go through some less than ideal relationships. I say lucky because through those relationships I learned an awful lot about myself and what the opposite sex means to me.  As many of you know I was engaged to be married at one time in my life.  For the better, for both parties, it didn’t end up working out.  In fact it was brought to my attention that just 9 months before I was to be married I caught wind that most of my friends were planning to boycott the wedding.  Needless to say it was a dark period in my life but today I am all the better for having experienced that time.

In recovery they say that it’s best not to date anyone during the first year.  Looking back on this advice, almost 3 years in to this journey of sobriety, I see that is indeed very sound advice.  During the last couple of years of my partying days I was drawn to women that I knew would help feed my addiction to alcohol.  I felt safe around them because I knew that I would not be judged for all of the destruction that I was doing to myself.  It got so bad that I used to daydream, with one person in particular, that she and I would lock ourselves into my apartment for a weekend and have an all out drug and alcohol induced bender.  It was dark but at the time I didn’t know any better.  “Lucky” for me, towards the end of my drinking streak, my daydream came true with that person, and one weekend we did exactly what I had wanted.  It was a true act of selfishness.

When I got sober I more or less took two years off from truly pursuing any relationships.  At that point I did not trust myself to make the right decision about who I should spend time with.  I had become trapped in thinking that a certain kind of woman was right for me.  Clearly, based on my recent track record during the last few years of partying, I was headed down the same road that I had found myself in back in 2006 when I made the decision to propose to someone.  I needed those first two years in recovery to take a good hard look at the women that I surrounded myself with and to feel comfortable with myself.  Luckily I once again began to start trusting myself and finally encouraged myself to once again be open to the idea of letting someone in.

My first relationship in sobriety was great. To this day I still consider her a good friend. Even though the relationship didn’t work out we still share many of the same passions and interests.  I see her at races from time to time and we both enjoy catching up with each other.  There are no hard feelings, we had said what was on our minds and we moved forward as friends.  I know this can be a rare occurrence so I am grateful to still have this friendship

Today, now that I am gaining more and more clarity about what I would look for in a partner, everything seems more simple, much like it did when I first started dating back in middle school.  I remember the innocence of that relationship, her name was Sarah and we played trombone together in Jazz Band.  Holding hands at recess was a big deal for both of us back then.  Does that innocence have to be lost?

Even though I’m still guarded in some ways I feel like I have a better sense as to who that person might be.  Today, now I know that all I ever wanted was a partner, a lover, and a best friend looking to share the best of life experiences together.   Someone who is passionate about life, not about running necessarily, but about something that fills their heart to the fullest.  Passion is one of the sexiest things I can think of.

It’s taken a while to realize this but the difference this time around is that I don’t feel the need to push the issue.  I don’t feel the need to be in a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship.  I’ve done that before and it wasn’t the best way to approach the issue. To me, when it happens, if it happens, I hope that it can come in a natural and organic way, just like it did with Sarah way back when at Gateway Middle School.

 

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My Fears

A Comeback from Addiction, My Story

I woke up this morning with an overwhelming sense of fear.  Fear of what?  Who the hell really knows.  Time to get honest and take a little inventory:

Today here are the things that I fear:
– I fear being alone
– I fear that I’ve lost friends because of how open I have been during the last year about my struggles with sobriety
– I fear that because of the societal stigma of alcoholism/addiction that I will never find a partner in life
– I fear that I am unlikable as a person
– I fear that life-balance is not within my reach
– I fear that my past transgressions in life will haunt me forever
– I fear that I will never amount to anything
– I fear that I will miss out on the last ever Motley Crue tour
– I fear that I will never get…

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Attempting to Combat Depression With a New Approach to Nutrition

Author’s note: This entry is about how nutrition plays into my lifestyle in the present moment.  I do not have a degree in nutrition, I only have my experience with testing different methodologies.  Also, I’m not a therapist or a doctor; by no means do I recommend trying this approach without proper consult from a certified medical professional. It is also important for me to note that I continue to take, as prescribed, medication for my depression. 

I switched up my nutrition again.  I felt like I had to.  It got to the point where I could not stop eating certain foods, i.e. natural sugars, grains, etc: carbs.  For me, as an addict, it’s all or nothing.  Therefore I eat all of the granola, all of the honey, all of the dried fruit, all of the rice, all of the pasta, and all of the mixed nuts, whenever and however.  I just couldn’t stop.  After Pine to Palm 100 I needed all of this food and more to fuel my body so that it could recover properly from the overwhelmingly taxing effort of running 100 miles.  However, there came a point where I believe  that I  went too far.  I could not stop.  Yes, was my body craving it?  Sure, but I took it to another level after a couple of weeks.  It was my excuse to eat whatever, whenever, and I felt like I was on drugs chasing the feeling of being full and satisfied.  Moderation is not necessarily a friend of mine.  After the constant indulging I started to feel like total shit.

Around 4 weeks after Pine to Palm a friend of mine, who was aware of my struggle with depression,  recommended that I check out a podcast that featured an interview with the well-known and respectable ultra-runner, Nikki Kimball. (http://www.enduranceplanet.com/nikki-kimball-on-depression-a-fat-adapted-diet-and-ultrarunning/)  I had the opportunity to meet Nikki at TransRockiesRun this year, she’s a wonderful woman and a hoot!   In the podcast she talks about using fat as her primary source of fuel and how much more efficient her nutrition seems to be working for her as an ultra-runner on a ketogenic diet.  I had heard most of what she was talking about before.  However there was one thing in particular and different that stood out to me in her commentary.  Nikki had discovered for herself that adopting a high fat low carb diet was helping her cope with her depression.  Once I heard this I was all ears and game to learn more.

After speaking to runners and non-runners alike who had adopted this method of nutrition I was eager to get started to see what would happen.  In a way I enjoy using my body as one big science experiment.  Therefore I began the fat-adaptation process.  To my surprise there wasn’t a ton of good information out there that described the process in the most simple and concise terms.  To begin with the process I basically just pieced it all together with the guidance of a few good friends. Luckily, another friend of mine was also attempting the fat-adaptation process so we spoke daily to compare and contrast notes and experiences as we attempted to go down this new road of low-carb living.  Having someone else to share the process with helped me tremendously.

I have found that depression is common among ultra-runners.  I’ve had numerous private and public discussions with runner friends of mine who comment that running helps them to cope with their depression.  Luckily, it’s starting to be talked about more in a public forum. Along with Nikki, Rob Krar (among the top elites in the world) is also open about his battles with depression.  While he doesn’t necessarily talk about his nutrition as it relates to depression (that I can find anyways) it’s nice to know that I’m not alone when it comes to battling this haunting and dark disease.  Nikki and Rob continue to be inspirations to me as I continue to learn more about how depression affects my every-day life.  Moving forward I hope that depression continues to be de-stigmatized in the public forum.

Typically, for me, I can have mood swings that seemingly come out of nowhere.  The ebbs and flows of my emotions can wreak havoc on my life personally, professionally, and emotionally.  My coping mechanisms have improved over time but they still very much remain a work in progress.  It’s just one of those things that I am continuing to learn to live with.  Now, after adopting a higher fat lower carb lifestyle I have had those troughs and valleys significantly improve.  I feel more calm throughout any given day, less reactive, less agitated, and more even-keeled.  I don’t feel the spikes of anxiety that I was used to having.  Overall, today, I just feel better with my sense of mindfulness.  Could it be the lack of carbs?  Who the hell knows for sure.  I just know for me that with a lower dose of carbs each day I just feel better overall.  In Nikki’s podcast she indicates the same sort of feeling.  Now that I am fully fat-adapted I’m just going to go with it.

As I’ve mentioned in the past I admittedly struggle with body image.  What this new way of eating is NOT about is my weight.  For the first time in many years I feel comfortable in my body and not concerned with a number on the scale.  In fact, I still have a scale and it doesn’t bother me one bit to have it around.  When I look at myself in the mirror I feel more secure about who I am.  Am I justifying this new change simply because I limit the amount of carbs I eat?  Of course not, I believe there is no magic bullet that can fix anything, especially as it relates to body image.  However, I am hopeful there is a correlation.  For me there is enough proof so far to carry on with this new way of eating.

I am finding that everyone has an opinion on who should eat what.  Everywhere you look someone is coming up with the ultimate way to fuel your body.  And who am I to comment on a topic such as this without having had any educational and/or professional background  or experience on the subject?  Fair point. For me this is all a personal matter.  I respect the hell out of  nutrition experts who recommend certain diets based on science (BTW – I do not like the word diet, lifestyle would also fit in nicely here). In no way am I recommending that everyone with depression go out and switch their nutrition around.  I am just personally excited about a change that may help me to continue coping with one of my biggest personal demons.  The bitch they call depression.

As this process continues to evolve over time I will certainly do my best to give updates.  Hell, I’m sure one day I’ll also have something to say about how the chocolate chip cookie diet works.  We’ll have to wait and see!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

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