Finding out “Why” is not going to fix you

When there is a problem in my life, my first thought is often to ask “why”?

Why did I bonk last weekend?

Why do I feel lousy right now?

Why can’t I sleep?

Asking myself that question, and then figuring out the answer, is often a catalyst for change.

What happens when it isn’t? What happens when you ask yourself why, figure it out, and then do nothing about it?

finding out why

Asking the question “why” itself is not going to solve your problems. I know it hasn’t solved all mine.

The following two examples are true in my life.

Example 1.)

Why am I tired today?

I didn’t sleep well last night.

Why didn’t you sleep well last night?

It was hot and I was sweaty.

Solution: buy an air conditioner

I answered the why and gave myself an option on how to solve the problem. Is my problem now solved? No, because I am not going to pay for that right now. It is not worth the money. Finding out the why did not propel me to change.

Example 2.)

I do not spend time with other people outside of work, yet I want to.

Why do I not go out more?

I like my alone time.

Lies, answer the question.

I lack the confidence to fit into social situations and I don’t like to stay up late and spend money.

Why don’t you have the confidence?

I was treated poorly growing up and those skeletons are still in my closet. I was also taught that saving money is a great accomplishment.

Solution: make a plan with someone that feels safe and gradually go out later each week.

Will I do this? I have provided my own solution that seems very reasonable to me and I have discovered why I do not like to go out. The answer again is no, I probably won’t do this.

Why? Because there is no big motivation to do it. It’s not life or death, it’s just a social stigma I feel pressured to fit in to.

Finding out the whys in each situation here has not motivated me to change.

This is the problem I sometimes have with therapy or health coaching and why I think some people stay stuck. I have been in therapy before (granted it was a few years ago now) and it seemed to me that most therapists helped you figure out the why, but did not focus on moving past it and getting on with your life.

Now, this is not all situations, but roll with me for a bit.

Too often, we search for reasons why we are the way we are as if unpacking that will help us change. I certainly did when it came to my family. If only I could change and fit in. If only I were better.

What if we just accepted the person we are, stopped asking why, and just moved forward?

What if instead of asking how we got that draped it card bill, we simply worked hard to pay it off?

I believe that sometimes, it’s best not to look too far into the negative things about ourselves, but to either accept them, or change them and move on.

I’ll give one more example.

When I lived at home, it was a very negative environment. Everyday I got the message that I was a worthless being. While I lived there, I would constantly ask myself why I was treated this way, as if I could change it.

But you know what? By simply being in that space, just physically being there, was enough for them to treat me poorly.

Asking the why was pointless because there was nothing I could do to change their behavior. It was just the presence of another human being that made the negativity spew out.

So, I decided not to change myself. I simply moved out and started living to be me. When I am a health coach, my goal will be to give people the tools so that they don’t need me. I will constantly evaluate my client’s progress and if things aren’t progressing, I will change my methods or suggest they see someone else.

I challenge you, instead of asking yourself why you missed that workout, just do the next one.

Instead of asking yourself why you made a bad grade on the paper, just try harder on the next one.

Do not dwell in the negative. Learn from it, then move on from it. Click To Tweet

I have decided to stop asking why something bad has happened and just do what I can to make the next moment a good one.

Do you find yourself asking why instead of making change?

How has this help you back?

Running Links [08/21/2016]

Good morning and Happy Sunday!

Going over the articles I read this week, and re-reading them as I usually do puts a huge smile on my face. I think this week I have the most diverse set of reads since I started focusing solely on running. We’ve got some cleanliness tips, Olympic funnies (Phelps) and tragedies (Lochte) and even some feminism thrown in for good measure.

Before I send you off to read, I must remind you to please sign up for my newsletter! It’s only a bimonthly commitment, I answer your questions and hey, if all goes well, I’ll include more links like these and recipes.

I might as well plug my Snapchat here (e11epe11) and my Pinterest too, because I’ve got some really awesome stuff over there that I can’t wait to make! Organizing those boards is taking me such a long time, because then I start pinning new stuff and get lost.

Ever happen to you?

Well, now that you’re hungry…enjoy the links!

Running Links

One Reminder All Runners Need To Hear via Tina Muir

The 7 Best Clear Skin Tips (for us fitness people who sweat!) via Class Pass

Three Things That Need To Happen Before We Defend Men From Olympic Sexism via The Guardian

The 27 Funniest Michael Phelps Face Memes from the Rio Olympics via USA Today

5 Tips For Coming Back After An Injury via Fueled by LOLZ

People I Want To Punch In The Throat: Ryan Lochte and His Mom via People I Want To Punch In The Throat

The Aftermath of The Bonk

I shared my bonking story on Monday and how it will help me become a better health coach. Today I want to share with you all the other things that happened as a result of the bonk.

This is full transparency and raw. I cannot sugarcoat this because the effects are real.

I do not need a lecture from anyone. I did not plan on doing this to myself. This was not a toughness challenge that I was trying. This was a mistake that I will not repeat ever again. Do not think this is what you should do to become a runner. The reason I share this is so you can avoid it.

I have taken this whole week off of running.

The effects of the bonk. #running #runchat @runningblogs Click To Tweet

Yes, my bonk did that to me. I am wiped out you guys. I had signs of severe dehydration, that I still have some of today. My stomach still hurts when I eat. I poop 8 times a day and pee even more. My body is having a hard time hanging onto nutrients. I am mentally burned out too. I miss running, but my head hurts thinking about it just because my last experience laid me out. I thought it would be ok, then the night happened.

I couldn’t sleep. My stomach hurt so bad. I was so thirsty and was trying to drink everything. Water, coconut water, pop, juice, anything to just feel some relief. It was terrible.

My ankle is still sore. It needs rest. I have a big week of work coming up and so taking extra care of my body during this time means not taxing my ankle.

I have changed my nutrition and hydration plan to get out of this debt.

Right now I am at the point where high carbohydrate, dense foods taste really good and do not aggravate my stomach. Scones with peanut butter, banana sandwiches, oatmeal, beans. Nothing with peppers or weird vegetables. I can’t tolerate those things and just poop them out an hour later anyway. Dried fruit has been great. Banana ice cream and Oreos tasted wonderful for dinner on Sunday because I could get it down. Nothing is off limits if it doesn’t hurt to eat.

I’ve been drinking everything. Making sure to get sodium in with my fluids and making sure my drinks have sustenance. Water is refreshing, but coconut water is better. My electrolyte balance is whacked. It is taking me longer than one post workout breakfast to get it back. That’s ok, things take time and I understand.

I have modified my racing goals.

I put a lot of pressure on myself for this season. I quit the gym because “real runners” go outside. I built up my base more and stopped lifting the weights I used to (not crazy amounts but more than I do now). I traded the weights for miles and my cross training days for easy runs. The gym was good for the accountability. I would take days off because there was other stuff to do. I stopped doing that.

People who have been running longer than me may be able to do this, but I think the gym helped me see a balance that better worked for me.

On Sunday night, while I laid there in pain and my sweat, I thought about running. About how much I love it. About how I knew I would take some time off and how it was ok. I also thought about the passions that are growing in other parts of my life and how they make running a PR nice, but less a part of my identity.

I change the way I saw racing. I see it as fun, but not my life. Running is my life, my jot and what makes me excited to greet the day. Racing will never do that. Coming to that conclusion, I realized that if I PR in my next race, cool, but if not, so what?

Do I have to stop running? No.

Do I become less credible as a health coach? No.

I will be a good health coach because of my experience and my expertise. Not because I had a golden race or because I am fast. A health coach is someone who can relate to a client, find an outside perspective, encourage them and keep them accountable to their goals, while providing know,edge on living a healthy life.

I have those things and running did not give them to me. Running is my experience, but it’s not the reason I am a health coach. If I couldn’t run, I can still be a knowledgeable source of information to improve a clients life.

That is what it’s all about.

Coming back to the bonk, it sucks, but I have become my very own client. I am telling myself the things I would tell a person who went through this. I am reaching out for help, doing research and applying it.

I didn’t intend for my first client to be myself, but damn, what a lucky thing in the aftermath of a bonk!

When you have problems in your own life, does that affect your expertise?

I’m linking up with Amanda and Kate today.

Bliss Nut Butter Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

The power of peanut butter, the satisfying fullness from oats, the Omega-3s from chia seeds. Overnight oatmeal is what we all look forward to when the summer mornings are hot and the sweat starts early.

I cannot lie, as much as I hate finishing a jar of Bliss Nut Butter, I love eating my oats from the jar. Bonus if I remember to make the oats the night before, because that means they are cold! Yes, just like how I take my coffee in the summer, I will gladly take my oats equally as chilled.

Let’s talk about chia seeds, the secret addition to both this recipe and some Bliss Nut Butter products that has me swooning.

Chia Seeds contain all those heart healthy omega-3s that reduce inflammation. They also provide an antioxidant punch similar to blueberries and the correct calcium to magnesium ratio ideal for the skeletal and nervous system. Just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds provide 98 calories of energy and 13% of your daily calcium. They are also high in fiber to help the digestive system out a bit.
I simply love the way they gel up and thicken whatever I am making. As a lover of thick smoothies, banana bowls and oats, adding chia seeds is a welcome addition to my meals.

Before I give you the recipe, it’s Wednesday so I know everyone wants to know what I’ve been eating. Thank you to JenArman and Laura for hosting!

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats with @blissnutbutter #WIAW #whatveganseat Click To Tweet



Apple, dried peaches and cold brew



Cheesy oats with sprouts and a hemp seeds, bread and butter pickles



Black beans, avocado and salsa bowl


Red Velvet Oreos [unpictured because I forgot]



Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

From at

Prep: Yield: 1Total:

You'll Need...

  • 3-4 tablespoons Bliss Nut Butter original peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 scoop vanilla flavored protein powder (I use Orgain, Plant Fusion or Vega)
  • 3 tablespoons blackberry jam
  • 1/4 cup granola


  1. Mix together milk and protein powder in a cereal bowl.
  2. Add in the oats and stir until combined.
  3. Stir in chia seeds.
  4. If the peanut butter is already in the jar, just pour oat mixture into the jar. If not, add your peanut butter to the bowl.
  5. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave another thirty. Stir. The peanut butter should be mixing into the oats, but still in a few globs in the jar.
  6. Store in the fridge overnight. In the morning, top with jam and granola.


Are you a fan of thick, dense eats?

What is your favorite peanut butter?

Facing The Bonk: I am not invincible

I ended my week with a bonk. I want to talk about it.

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I truly don’t believe I had bonked before this point. Sure, I’ve had some bad runs, but nothing where I nutritionally was unprepared. I have now experienced this terrible bonk I’ve heard so much about, and I’ve become a wiser runner.


Events leading up to the bonk:

1.) It’s been hot all week

I have been working and sleeping in less than ideal conditions for the past week. It’s just so hot and I get heat headaches now when I stand in front of the ovens at work for too long.

2.) I cannot hydrate myself

In addition to the heat, it is very hard to stay hydrated. I joke that I haven’t stopped sweating for two weeks…but it’s true. Spending my time in a constant state of sweat has made it not difficult, but impossible to stay hydrated. I do drink, not just water, but electrolyte beverages, iced coffee and tea and eat foods with a high water content. However, I have been unable to stay on top of my hydration.

3.) I did not plan my route well.

I woke up early to run in the cool morning (haha) and miscalculated the amount of mileage I would get before meeting up with friends. I was planning to do some myself and some with them. By the time I got to them I was 9 miles in. I drank and felt fine, but after a few miles with them I decided to turn and cut it short. I thought it would be a faster way to get home by doing this, but I should have just turned around.

4.) My foot was giving me problems.

On and off the past few weeks my right foot hurts. I can still run on it, but after about 10 miles it gets uncomfortable. Well, 14 miles in things were not looking up. This is when I turned a around…only to have 6 miles to go.

5.) I ran long the day before.

I was planning to race today (just for fun) so I ran 16 miles yesterday morning. Then worked on my feet all day. I felt great yesterday and still planned to race. This morning however I made the decision not to based on cost, time that I could spend working in other passions and my niggling foot. Sunday was my only day off and I wanted to work on other things. After races I am not that productive.

I felt fine the day before. I felt fine during the first part of my run. I chose to continue for these reasons.

What happened?

I ended up doing the runner slog up a few hills until I made it to a Burger King three miles from home. It was in that Burger King stall that I put my head in my hands and thought about my life choices.

I felt like a fool.

Why did you run without water? Who do you think you are?

Why do you put hope in running? You might get injured from this!

Your running group thinks you’re a wimp.

You want to coach people to do this? What do you know?

All these things flew through my mind as I sat there. I didn’t know what else to do, but put my head down, drink a liter of Coke (thank you kind BK worker!) and slog my way home.

I made it. Tired legs, messed up gut, totally humbled by this experience.

I think, as regular runners, we think we know our bodies. Sure, someone else might need water or food, but I don’t. Someone else might need a break during a run, but I’m ok. We put ourselves on a pedestal because “if we’ve done it before we can do it again.”

Change means defeat.

Change means I am less than.

Change means I was wrong.

What I learned this day is that change means adaptability and learning how to deal with hard situations effectively.

I did not fail, I learned what my breaking point is. I learned how to do it better next time. 

Next time I will not fail.

Bonking taught me how to be a better #health coach. What has a bad experience taught you? #runchat @runningblogs Click To Tweet

How this experience will make me a better running and health coach:

1.) Not only is each client different, they are different in each moment.

I will learn what things motivate them and what goals are important each time we meet. I will be aware that these things may change and it is important to meet the client where they are at.

2.) Nutritional needs vary upon the situation and no food is off limits forever.

I will discuss my ideas about “eliminating certain foods” in a future post, but today showed me that when you need energy, any calories will do. I don’t drink Coke, I don’t really like it either. Today, it was the elixir of life. It got me home safe. I will remember that some foods are like that for people. A necessity part of their world. That’s ok.

3.) Planning is key to a good experience, no one is “above” mapping it out.

I thought I knew myself and my town well enough to guess a practical route. I was wrong. For each of my clients, I will never assume how a meeting will go or what mindset they will have on that day. I will be prepared and open to anything they bring to the table. I am not against doing specific research for their problem if I do not know the answer straight away. Part of what I look forward to in this profession is always being a student of wellness research and modifying my health ideas based on that.

Today I am linking up with Meg for a review of my most impactful run of the week. Be sure to show that mama some love!

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What is one experience you have that was a big eye opener?

What did you learn about yourself from it?