Guest Post From Ms XC

by tessa8m on July 17, 2011

in Awesome Bloggers

Hi Friends!

Today’s guest post comes from Tara from XCFoodie. I can’t exactly remember when I started reading Tara’s blog, but I can say that I truly love her site, and am inspired by this strong and pretty lady on a daily basis! We can both relate to each other’s struggles quite often and we are learning how to work through them. She is also a SUPER FAST runner and Tara has learned how proper nutrition helps fuel and propel her body so much further and better. She is smart, funny, and just great, so go check out her site right after you read this post! Oh and bookmark her blog, you’ll want to thank me later :D

Hey Everyone! I’m Tara and I blog at XCFoodie. Here is a quick “about me”: I am going into my senior year of high school where I run cross country and track. I also lift occasionally and lately I’ve been experimenting with biking and swimming because of an injury. I used to suffer with very disordered eating habits and anxiety, but I learned that to perform my best I had to fuel myself with the best. Now I’m happier and healthier than ever!

Way back when, I used to exercise just to burn calories. I donned a heart rate monitor every time I went to the gym, burned at least 500 calories per session, and never took rest days. I didn’t eat enough either – maybe 1600 calories on a good day, but that was on top of all the physical activity. I wasn’t enjoying the time I spent exercising and I felt burnt out. Worst of all, my day depended on getting in the sweat session. I was snarky and mean if I didn’t know exactly when I would get to the gym, and if I couldn’t go one day… oh you wouldn’t want to be near me on those days. Exercise was my insurance and if I didn’t have it I felt like I was doomed.

First Race!

Then running came into the picture. I had been running every now and then to burn calories, especially on those days when going to the gym was impossible. I ran my first race, did well, and I actually enjoyed the time I spent running. Running to beat others distracted me from the constant calorie calculations that usually ran through my head, and seeing the time at the end was even more fun to try and calculate than trying to figure out how much food I was allowed to eat later. I placed 2nd in my age group in a major race held in a nearby city, and I was told I should join the track team. Me? No way! I couldn’t be good enough, plus no one would want me there. My self esteem was low, but things were looking up, so I went for it.

            Little did I know, the first practice would change my life. Everyone on the team was so friendly and encouraging. I ran with the two fastest girls on the team and we chatted the entire time. It was bliss: not a single thought about food, restriction, calories, nada. I came home happier than my parents had seen me in years. We went out to dinner and I ate food that I didn’t prepare – oil and butter and all. I was on cloud nine. The next day at practice we did our first speed workout and I was up and running with the best of ‘em. I realized that I had actually eaten dinner and dessert the night before, and I felt AMAZING. Coincidence? I think not!

Post Race Peanut Butter Ice Cream? Real Ice Cream!? Yes please!

With that, I started to eat the right amount and I became one of the best runners on my team. I learned all about the different types of food and how they would help my performance – I could eat pasta (not even the whole grain variety), drink sports drinks, everything that I never thought I could do. Even at the end of the season when I was injured and couldn’t exercise, my relationship with food was so much better that I wasn’t crying and screaming over taking time off. My first cross country season was huge – our team won a title that they hadn’t won in years and made it all the way to the state championships for the first time in nearly ten years. My success continued into this year’s track season, where I had to take a lot of time off for injuries, but I ran even better times and continued to fuel myself properly. It makes all the difference.

            In the past two years, I have learned so much about running, fueling, and myself all because of this experience. I learned that exercise is not fun when my goals are about deprivation, nor is exercise fun when I am not fueled properly. I had to realign my goals and make them positive, eat to perform my best, and only then would I feel the true “runners highor benefit from the endorphins produced in my workouts. Focusing on the negative drains my energy as it is, but when I’m not treating my body properly I am even more miserable. When food and exercise are seen in a positive light – as things that make me happy, give me energy, and help me improve mentally and physically – then I was able to live.


Thank you Tara, I loved reading this, and I know everyone else did too :D

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alexandra July 17, 2011 at 8:04 am

Yay for recovery posts!! Tara and Tessa, y’all are both so inspirational and just plain awesome :D Hope you both have a wonderful rest of your weekends!

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2 tessa8m July 17, 2011 at 10:18 am

You too m’dear! :D

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3 Tara July 17, 2011 at 9:31 am

Tessaaa you’re the sweetest person ever! I’m so glad you found my blog so I could find yours because I can relate to everything you post. You have inspired me to stay on the right track and I hope I inspire you too! Love you!

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4 tessa8m July 17, 2011 at 10:18 am

Nahh lady, you are the sweetest person ever! I love everything you post as well :) We can get through this woman!

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5 Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) July 17, 2011 at 9:35 am

I LOVE TARA!! thank u so much for opening up! im so happy for you :)

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6 tessa8m July 17, 2011 at 10:17 am

Isn’t she great!? :) Thanks for stopping by Carrie!

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7 Amanda @ .running with spoons. July 17, 2011 at 11:20 am

Fantastic post Tara! Fueling properly makes all the difference in the world. I remember how miserable and weak I felt when I was undereating/overexercising, and it’s not something I ever want to repeat. These days, I make sure to fuel myself properly and I can say that I feel fantastic and that I’m probably in the best shape that I’ve ever been :D

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8 Ragnhild July 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Great post Tara!! I try to read as much positive posts about fueling up better, at the moment! I need the motivation to give myself more food! And I hate when my runs feels painful- and I know it is all “thanks” to too little food!

You are both so inspirational girls! Keep up the good work <3

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9 sarah July 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I love XCFoodie!
This was such an inspiring post- it has really given me lots to think about and stuff to strive for regarding my relationship with exercise.
Xxx

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10 Hollie @lolzthatswim(andrun) July 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Wow Tara I had never read your story quite like that and it is awesome. We are seriously so similar. Great post!

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11 Tara July 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Thanks Hollie! I guess I never really explained “my story” on my own blog. I should probably post that eventually. Running changes lives I tell you!

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12 Emily@RunningPerspective July 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I LOVE THIS! honestly so so so inspiring thank yoou!!!

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13 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food July 17, 2011 at 7:08 pm

What a great example of how running can change lives for the better! I am so glad to hear it did so much to benefit you Tara! :)

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14 Keri July 18, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Great guest post and I’m glad I found your blog too :)

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15 tessa8m July 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Thank you for stopping by Keri and taking the time to comment :)

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16 Sonia (the Mexigarian) July 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm

I enjoy reading recovery posts and knowing that I am not and wasn’t the only one at the gym exercising to burn every last calorie. I am still learning how to refocus my efforts into the nutrition and fuel aspect of my exercise, but am no longer as worried as to what calories I am burning in swimming, cycling or running. I learning to re appreciate them for what they are. Thank you again for reiterating it for me. Sometimes we need the reminder :)

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17 tessa8m July 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Sometimes we really do, they can benefit us more than we realize :)

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