I’ve started to run again lately. Today, I completed 2 whole miles without stopping. And I feel like I’d just accomplished a marathon.
I took up running when I was a freshman in high school. This was totally out of the character for me. I used to have the heaviest, laziest ass in the sense that it was always sitting on a chair or bed, refusing to budge. I whined when my parents dragged me out for a walk, and whizzed like I was having a heart attack when my P.E teacher forced us to run a lap. I, a straight A student, got my first C in P.E. Who gets a freaking C in P.E?
But because the people who ran along the streets in their running gear and their serious, concentrated expressions looked so darn cool, I decided to start running, too. Building up my non-existent stamina was tough at first. I was so proud of myself when I completed my first mile without a single break. From then onwards, I slowly increased my mileage until I was running up to 7 miles per day.
Unfortunately, my running turned into an obsession when my eating disorder started inching its way into my life. Suddenly, running was a pain, a chore, a battle. All I cared about was whether I ran xx miles a day, so that I burned the same amount of calories. If I ran just a bit less, I fell into a horrible mood for the rest of the day. I felt like the one less mile that I did not manage to do would come to haunt me in blobs of fat congealing on my stomach. Because I ran one less mile, I was a failure, a big fat walrus, a weakling. On that day, I would sharply restrict my food intake.
Each day, the moment I woke up, the first thought I had was: I’ve got to run, got to run, got to run. I have to hurry up and be done with that xx mile before it’s too late, before the whole day gets messed up.
I didn’t care for the process of running, the enjoyment of the wind rushing by my ears, the melodious momentum of my feet thudding lightly on the ground, or the flush on my cheeks from the rush of endorphins. All I cared about was finishing the run…until the next day when I had to start all over again.
It was a tiring way to live. Every single day was a never-ending, thankless race, where in truth, I received nothing. I received no joy, just a temporary relief to my anxieties. I received no health benefits, just aching muscles and shin-splints. I received nothing. In fact, it also sucked me away from a lot of social activities because I would rather run than hang out with my friends.
One day, I just stopped cold turkey. I was sick of running. I was sick of getting up every morning worrying about running. And I simply had no more energy to run. My eating disorder had already consumed me by then.
It’s been 3 years since I’ve run. And I’m forming a whole new relationship with running again, from the bottom up. I’m slowly rebuilding my stamina, and feeling the newly-built muscles perform. As I run, I’m not thinking about how I need to finish xx miles. I’m enjoying each and every single moment of the process of running: the air, my heartbeat, the slow swinging of my arms, the rhythm of my breathing, the people who smile at me as I pass by.
Now that, is why God gave us legs and arms, our bodies. Not to use them to over-exercise and work our ass off like a machine, but to enjoy each natural movement of our bodies, to take the responsibility of treasuring and respecting them as our own vessels. Exercising is not about burning calories, but to strengthen and preserve our bodies so we can contribute however much we can to this world.
Dang, that was long. Guess I’m still on a high from my run, lol. And of course, after a run like that I oughta replenish myself. It has been a long while since I had my “mix-it-up” bowl, but check out this new version of it:
Roasted Kabocha with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese and Almond-Red Pepper Sauce
The base: 2 cups pre-roasted kabocha cubes
The mix-ins: 1/2 large onion, 3 large shitake mushrooms, bunch of steamed kale
The topping: 1/4 cup goat cheese and Almond-Red Pepper sauce (recipe below)
Almond-Red Pepper Sauce (in estimates)
2 roasted red bell pepper, drained
2 spoonfuls almond butter
1 scoop of roasted almonds
1 clove minced garlic
drizzle of maple syrup
squeeze of lemon juice
splash of chicken broth
drizzle of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Just grind everything up into a food processor. Taste and test until it is to your liking.
Now to make this bowl, just caramelize the onions in a skillet with some oil, toss in the mushrooms, let them cook together until nice and soft and fragrant, then toss in the kabocha and kale. Season with salt and pepper.
Then pile it up into a dish, drizzle the sauce all over, sprinkle on the goat cheese. Yum-o! (Damn Rachel Ray)
Honestly, maybe it was because I was hungry from my run, but this dish was out-of-the-world good. Seriously.
Hark the angels singing!
Kabocha, goat cheese, almond butter, caramelized onions. All my favorite in one dish!
All the flavors worked really well together. And the contrasts of textures! Freaking amazing.
dish, I never wanted to see the end…
Here’s another good news for today: My parents are arriving tomorrow afternoon from their mission trip!!!
If you look back to my previous post way back, you would remember that I promised my parents that I would gain 5 lbs while they were gone. Guess what?
I gained that 5 lbs, and MORE!! Bonus pounds, baby! Me thinks I deserve a special prize for this. Maybe a diamond white gold necklace. Or more suitably, every single kind of kitchen gadget I can find. Hm, gotta start browsing online!
Question of the day: Do you think you have a good relationship with exercise? What is your favorite part about exercising?