Push It

This post was originally going to be titled “pushing myself” because that’s what I’m really here to talk about today. BUT on Saturday night, as part of my “I want to be alone pity party + homemade goat cheese nachos + chick flick watching evening,” I watched the movie Something Borrowed which I had never seen before. It stars Kate Hudson, John Krasinski, and Ginnifer Goodwin to name a few. ANYWAY the best friends in the movie, Kate and Ginnifer’s characters, have a choreographed dance to the Salt N Pepa jam “Push It” and so when I typed “Pushing Myself” into the title box above- I couldn’t help but think of the movie.

And that’s your overly long explanation for how I named this post.

Moving on. This post sort of serves as an update on the things that Allison is doing to push her physical and mental limits. I talked about this a little bit in a post back in June. My attempts to “do things that scare me” have led me to take part in some interesting things lately and have helped me get over some food issue humps that I’ve been ignoring.

Let’s talk fitness first. As many of you read, I walk everywhere in the city. I’m all about exploring this lil place and seeing what it has to offer. Will and I have been known to go on 10+ mile walks exploring and I always find myself losing myself in various neighborhoods. For a relatively small city, DC has a lot going on for it and I’m determined to experience as much of it as possible in my time here.

BUT I will admit, there is one area of the city that I do naht venture to frequently. Not having the best or should I say, safest, reputation around- the southeast quadrant and the anacostia region doesn’t see much of me. The furthest southeast I had gone before this weekend was Eastern Market. Yes, I am your stereotypical young white girl in DC.

That’s not to say that I’m not curious about these parts of the city! If I wasn’t worried about my well being, I would have been there sooner. I’ve always wanted to go but really, to be honest, I haven’t had a reason to and it wouldn’t be the safest call on my part.

And in walks OutRun Adventures.

You guys have heard me talk about Roam Fitness and their OutRun programs before. In June, I tried out their OutRun program for the first time {read about it here!}.

WELL. I took part in their inaugural OutRun Adventure on Sunday which is similar to an OutRun but longer and meant to be a little bit more about exploring parts of this area that you wouldn’t normally get to experience. It was led by regular instructor Chris Geier and his cohort Graham King. Me + about fifteen other DC area crazy people fitness and adventure freaks joined them.

Mary, author of the blog, Minutes per Mile was one of the people along for the journey and did a sweet write-up of the OutRun Adventure. Click here to check it out! She actually took some pictures during the excursion so I promise her post is more fun than mine. All the pictures you see in this post were stolen from her.

Sunday Route

they used “map my run” to chart the course. this was the original route they had planned out. due to rain and other circumstances, I think we changed it up a little bit but you get the idea of the general location of where we were at from this map.

It was a two hour plus fitness excursion that started at the Benning Road Metro Station at 8am and ended around Eastern Market at about 11am (where we promptly sat down to brunch at the Banana Cafe and Piano Bar and I had the most well deserved pancakes + coffee).

The whole route went through the trails of Anacostia, Fort Dupont Park, and other lesser known regions of Capitol Hill. It was supposed to be around 6 miles- but it was definitely a little more than that- and the mileage was broken up by sprints, lunges, dynamic stretching exercises, planks, parachute runs, resistance band strength training, push-ups, tricep dips, and burpees. Chris was the leader of the pack carrying a backpack containing music/speakers so we had sweet tunes carrying us through the whole time. The motivational power of music cannot be underestimated, people.

Benning Road

Welcome to Benning Road [photo cred to Mary]

Pretty much the whole time I had ZERO concept of where I was. The woods felt deep, the old Civil War historical sites were wicked cool, the wild turkeys made me miss home, the rail yard made me feel like I was in a movie, and the almost hidden National Park regions seemed so foreign. How is it possible that this whole outdoor mecca of wilderness exists so close by, yet I had never laid eyes on it before? It was so bizarre. Without going on this excursion- I would have probably never seen these sights. I felt grateful for Chris taking us through the area and showing us what we didn’t know we had been missing.

Making the whole situation more interesting- it was raining the entire time. For many reasons I wish that it hadn’t been raining, but one of them being that it prevented me from taking pictures. BUT just take my word for it… it was insane.

Not only was it physically challenging to be running and doing all those exercises in an unfamiliar area- it was mentally challenging for me because I was soaking wet, cold, and I’m not going to lie- sort of miserable. And by sort of I mean, I was totally miserable.

It was a lot of fun and a GREAT experience yet there were some secret tears welling up in my eyes half the time. I can’t lie. I wasn’t in the best mental space that morning and my stomach was acting up. I kept thinking why am I doing this?! I could be in bed- it’s freezing- I’m soaked to the bone- I’m going to get sick- I’m actually crazy- am I pushing myself too far? I’m totally screwed for the Goruck Nasty Challenge next monthDespite all the negativity swirling around in my head though- I smiled a lot and proved a lot to myself. I didn’t give up and I went through the whole adventure. I also met some wonderful people who were the perfect companions to commiserate with. Plus, it could have been really sunny and we’d all be dying of heat- right?

OutRun Adventure 2

Working on some superman exercises in a big open field on some thick, wet grass [photo cred to mary]

I was definitely very happy that it ended when it did. I was wiped out. But I’m very happy I did it. For as much as I’m complaining now and hated moments of it when I was in it- I would do it again in a heartbeat. No questions. I still can’t believe the whole thing even happened- it seems like a weird dream I had. Again, I wish I had the photographs to show the experience- some of it you just had to see to believe.

OutRun Adventure

here we all are after changing and eating and drinking all the hot coffee- you would never guess what we just worked through [photo cred to mary]

It was wet. It was challenging. And yes- it was definitely an adventure. One that I will never forget- that’s for damn sure. I mean c’mon, when else are you going to get the chance to do something crazy like this on a Sunday morning? Exactly.

In the words of Fall Out Boy- thnks fr th mmrs, guys {yeah I went there #sorryimnotsorry}

[To learn more about Roam Fitness and their goal to inspire “Fitness Without Boundaries,” check out their website here or their Facebook page here]

Okay. Now let’s talk food real quick. For as challenging as Sunday morning’s activities were- they’re nothing compared to my internal struggles with food.

When I was calorie counting, I cut a lot of bread and other like carbohydrates from my life. This was done for the sole reason that these things tend to be high in calories and it sort of freaked me out so I stopped eating them (because nothing bad can come out of stopping yourself from eating an entire group of foods, right?). For many months- I avoided bread and pasta and anything chip like in nature. It made me feel abnormal and unhealthy but the calories and chatter of living a low-carb, grain free, existence took over my brain.

Adding back in these type of carbs and eliminating ridiculous food rules I had placed on myself (like not being allowed to eat a piece of bread from a bread basket and never ordering pasta at Italian restaurants) was one of the things I worked on with my R.D. She had me work through little issues (that felt HUGE at the time) like eating cheese and crackers (that’s normal, right?) by having me purchase crackers when I went grocery shopping and saying yes when they offered me bread with my Sweetgreen salad.

I’m happy to report that these days, you see me eating all these former challenge foods. I eat them in balance with other important food groups and am conscious about trying to stick to whole, unprocessed grains BUT most importantly- I’m eating them again. Sometimes its stressful- but usually its not. It’s very freeing to feel allowed to eat these things when I want to now- when for so long ED told me no no no you can’t.

I’ve gotten over my fear of indulging in a piece of bread at dinner when its offered to me if I want it, I don’t automatically ask for things to be bread-less, pita-crisp less, or crouton-less, and I don’t cringe at the thought of eating a sandwich, a wrap, or a burrito.

There is one thing I had been avoiding though and I am almost embarrassed to admit it. It sounds so simple but it has induced anxiety attacks. You ready for this?

Buying tortilla chips.

I don’t know why. I think it’s from my aversion to carbs for so long, my fear of the oil they use to cook the chips, and my general avoidance of processed foods. Whenever I would go to buy them at the store- I would have a mini freak out and just walk away. Whenever I would see like a taco salad recipe or anything that called for tortilla chips- I just ignored it and left them out. Making nachos- something I love- became something I just wouldn’t do. In the presence of others I would just eat the toppings off the nachos and never eat the chips. Again, I’ve tried time and time again to buy them. Compared different bags. Spent ten minutes standing in the chips section. Even the tortilla chips made with things like beans and quinoa and whole grains- they still freaked me out too much. I found alternative vehicles for things like queso and guac and salsa because GOD FORBID I eat a chip. I felt ridiculous but I just couldn’t do it.

Until I was at Trader Joes on Friday. And guess what?

I bought tortilla chips.


It sounds SO DUMB. But I was so proud of myself. I was elated. It’s one of the few challenge foods that still gets to me and I managed to spend no more than thirty seconds looking at the bag and deciding to buy them. I wasn’t drawn to these because they were marketed as “low fat” but because they are baked and not fried! Which yes- contributes to their fat content- but baking chips is a healthier alternative to frying them.

Anyway. There is a bag of tortilla chips sitting in my apartment. And they don’t make me feel weird. And I don’t have compulsions to eat the whole bag. And I don’t have compulsions to throw the bag away entirely. I’ve been eating normal sized portions out of it and enjoying every last bite of those chips.

I don’t know why I thought the world would come crashing down around me if I had chips in my apartment. Because the thing is- when you start eating healthier, your cravings for these types of foods lessen.  Maybe two years ago that bag of chips would have been gone in a handful of days but I’ve learned a lot and grown a lot through my process of eating better and honestly- I have no desire to go crazy with those chips. Like none at all. I like them and want to eat them, but I’m not throwing my face into the bag and losing control. I think that fear of losing control over my food habits is one of the major things that stops me from buying or eating certain things. Even if its a silly, irrational fear.

Anyway. The goat cheese nachos I made Saturday seem commonplace to most people- but for me they were a major victory. And they were delicious. The taco salad with chips for dipping that I had last night also made me feel accomplished.

2013-08-17 19.32.54



So take THAT crazy food rules! You are just that- absolutely crazy! And I am all set with you thank you very much.

Even though I’m not seeing my R.D. on a regular basis, I’m a proactive person and totally willing to work on the lingering food issues I know I have. Instead of being afraid, I know I need to keep tackling them one at a time head on.

Another hurdle taken down in my road to a better relationship with food.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo


12 thoughts on “Push It

  1. Yay! For my tortillas have always been rough aka I hadn’t eaten a whole taco or burrito in years! Finally last night I enjoyed 3 tacos while at taco tuesday…tortilla and all…and it was great! I definitely feel you on how freeing it can be to realize that your fear foods are no longer as scary as they once were!

  2. I am so proud of you! I still haven’t reached tortilla-buying status (yet), but I did add extra rice to my vegan chinese food tonight! I know what you’re going through and even though your’e a few steps ahead of me, I hope to follow in your footsteps!

  3. Congrats on your tortilla chip victory! Thank you for sharing as well! I can totally relate to the control issues with trigger foods and its really motivating to read your thought process that you went through so, thank you! (Long time reader, first time commenter from Friendship Heights 🙂 )

  4. I was just in DC this weekend and we were going to go to Eastern Market too but it was raining! I really want to move there sometime in the next year…it’s one of my favorite places in the country. That Roam Fitness is definitely something I’d love to get into if I do end up there! Thanks for the info it looks awesome

  5. Pingback: days 20-22 {frozen, on track, and number} | Wicked Healthy Washingtonian

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