What is the right diet for YOU?


5 Ways to recognize the right diet

I can be a rebel sometimes.  The suggested subject for the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy today is your gym/workout space. I could probably write a good post on that, and maybe even earn myself a little bit of affiliate money.

Instead, I’m going to write about diet and healthy lifestyles. Because trust me, it’s important to your running. Any engine can fail when it has crappy fuel put into it.


A diet is something you do for a while, lose a few pounds, and then go right back to the way you were eating before — and usually you find those lost pounds plus some.

I really shouldn’t have used the word diet in my title. What you’re really looking for is a healthy lifestyle — I know people love to hate on that expression, but it’s true. And a healthy lifestyle is something you can envision yourself doing for the rest of your life.

There are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss.

Do you find yourself not wanting to go out to eat or to parties because it just won’t fit in with your diet? Is your way of eating something you do at home, then ditch when you’re at someone else’s house or on vacation because it’s just too difficult?

I get it, actually; I still struggle with some of these things myself. My way of eating isn’t restrictive — I eat everything — but, for instance, I really didn’t want to go out to eat when I was at my parents. I do eat out, but I don’t like going out to eat all the time. My waistline doesn’t like it either. Luckily I was able to beg out because of the snow.

Back to my point, though, if you find you are missing out on the things you love because of the way you eat, then it’s time to rethink the way you eat.

No Deprivation
Repeat after me: deprivation will just lead to overeating or even worse, bingeing.

Deprivation does not work. It’s the elephant in the room — the minute you forbid something it’s the only thing you can think about.

If your diet forbids whole food groups, then it fails both point#1 and point#2 (unless you have a medical reason you can’t eat a certain food group) and point#3. I’d say that gets an F, for sure.

That doesn’t mean that eating whatever you want, however much you want, whenever you want it works either. There’s a happy medium between eating healthy most of the time and indulging occasionally.

Makes you feel energized
Sugar may make you feel energized — in the short term. But it won’t give  you lasting energy. There are plenty of foods that can make you feel sluggish — and that may vary from person to person.

If you find yourself constantly exhausted, though, and there’s no medical reason for it, you might want to take a look at what you’re eating.

Addresses your mind and spirit, not just what you eat
You have to get at your “why”. Why you want to eat healthy: what are  you hoping to get out of it? Look good in your clothes? Feel good about yourself? Get off medications? I seem to be a broken record on this subject lately, but that’s because it’s just that important.

Your why may change over time, too. For instance, when I started with Weight Watchers decades ago, my why was mostly to look good. Many young people’s why to lose weight is to look good.

When I recommitted to Weight Watchers in my late 40s, my why had changed. Of course I enjoy looking better in my clothes, but that’s mostly a side benefit. That is still a why, but instead of being about looking good, it’s about self esteem — I feel better about myself when I’m at a healthy weight.

And that’s just one why. One of my biggest whys is to age gracefully — to be happy with myself, to be able to do the things I enjoy, to keep old age ailments at bay for as long as possible.

This is point#5 for a good reason: if you take nothing else away from this post, I hope you take away that in order to change, you must delve deep into your why.

Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:

What does a healthy lifestyle look like to you?

Do you get anxious about having to eat out?

What is your why?

I’m also linking up with Nicole @ Fitfulfocus and her Fit & Fashionable Friday linkup (been a while!) today.

Fitful Focus


2 for the Price of One!


I find picking a word for the year to be a helpful tool. I may not be good at setting goals, but boy, I’ve got that word of the year thing down — I’m not sure how long I’ve been doing it, but it’s been a few years, at least.

I do keep my word in mind as the year goes on, too. I may not think of it every day, but I do find myself thinking about it. Last year’s word, too — anything beyond that tends to just fade away. Memory is not my strongest suit — unless we’re talking about food!

I usually spend some time in the fall thinking about what my upcoming word should be. My subconscious goes to work on it, and some day, sometime, the right word just pops into my mind: 2017 is patience (just don’t ask Mr. Judy to grade me!).

Or is it?

Brace yourself for the “big” reveal
Suddenly last week another word popped into my mind. I’m not ditching patience, it’s definitely something I need to work on, but this other word . . . it calls to me too. So 2017 is the year of two words.


One of my goals for this blog has always been to inspire other people. For the most part I feel as though I am often preaching to the choir with my blogger friends, because as someone trying to live a healthy lifestyle, I naturally gravitate towards others with similar goals.

While “runs” might be a part of my blog name, this has always been more than just a running blog. I’m a pretty open person, and I like to share all my passions (for good or bad), whether that’s healthy eating, weight management, animals, fashion, yoga, or, yes, running.

As a relatively new blog, I am still finding my way. Although of course I’m not sure that any blog ever really just settles into a style — we grow and change as people, and our blogs grow and change along with us.

Sometimes blogging seems like an incredible indulgence. What did we do before the internet, anyway? Maybe we actually got out of our houses more often and interacted with each other more often.

While yes, it’s true, blogging does take up time that could be spend on “better” pursuits, it does connect us. I have met so many wonderful friends through this blog, some in person and others just online — although if you ever meet an online friend in real life, you’ll find that you really have been friends all along.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more,  you are a leader.
–John Quincy Adams

Me — a leader?
I’m not so sure that I’m a leader, but I hope that I can fulfill that position as defined by John Quincy Adams. Or perhaps I am just leading myself, because I do believe that I dream more, learn more and become more.

I became a runner, after all, without any athletic ability and not a whole lot of guidance in the beginning. My goal to run a half in every state is definitely a big dream. And running helps me to always be learning — for such a simple sport, there’s a lot to learn!

If you follow me on Instagram (@chocolaterunsjudy), maybe you’ve noticed that my posts recently have changed a bit. I realized, one day, that Instagram is such a perfect platform to inspire people. It’s both quick (instagram, after all) and visual. Never doubt the power of a picture.

I’ve been taking a bit more time with my photos and trying to include an inspiring message. I hope I can inspire you to try things that may sound weird to you, to be open minded, to be open to change.


I want you to join me in my healthy lifestyle and journey. I want you to see that movement, in any form, isn’t punishment; not only is it good for you, it can make you feel good, too.

I want you to realize that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean deprivation or starving yourself, although it might be more work than you’re used to — but soon you’ll find that that extra work has big payoffs — more energy, less cravings, and maybe better fitting clothes.

I want you to try new things and keep an open mind, whether that’s exercise or food or hobbies.

I truly want to inspire you. And I love it if you share how you’re changing your life for the better — because you just might inspire me, too. And other people you may never hear from.

Maybe it’s not so indulgent after all
Yes, blogging is a first world pleasure, but maybe it really isn’t so indulgent after all. Like most powerful things, and never doubt that your blog is more powerful than you think, even if you never get a comment, it can be used for good or bad.

Blogging can connect you with people all over the world, and that’s really cool — something that would never have happened for me if I hadn’t started my blog.

Blogging can definitely inspire people. I know I read inspiring blogs all the time. And I hope that I can inspire you, even if I never hear from you. It’s a big reason that I started this blog — I am always saying that if I can run a half marathon, anyone can. I believe that. You can do anything you want to do, if you want it badly enough and work hard for it.

Tell me in the comments:

Do you think blogs can be inspiring?

Is blogging worth the time it consumes?

What have you been inspired to try recently?

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup. Hopefully they won’t mind that I’ve gone a bit off topic this week.

Tuesdays on the Run

So what IS a healthy lifestyle?: TOLT

Danger Will Robinson!

After my little “episode” with my Freihofers chocolate chip cookies (you can read more about it here), I’m Thinking Out Loud about healthy lifestyles, all or nothing thinking, and balance.

A healthy lifestyle
How people love to hate the phrase above. And I am not sure I have yet achieved a healthy lifestyle, despite Mr. Judy once wondering how I could possibly eat healthier: the answer is easy —  of course I could.

And you know what? I don’t care how cleanly you eat, you could too. To beat another tired phrase to death, it’s all about progress, not perfection.

That being said, Saturday was a bit of a setback for me. Or was it?

So I finished a hot 5k and they handed me a box of what was once my very favorite chocolate chip cookies. I had a Health Warrior Chia bar with me. I like Health Warrior Chia bars.

Once I opened that cookie box, though, I never touched that Health Warrior Chia Bar. And I consumed far too many cookies, so many that I definitely lost count. So many, in fact, that I never ate lunch at all.

Oddly enough, I’m sort of okay with that. Sometimes when I consume too much of something like that, these days, I literally feel sick. And I didn’t. I won’t be at all surprised if I have a gain at the scale this week, but that’s okay.

The real sign of a healthy lifestyle? You make your choice (okay, I didn’t really choose to eat that many), you enjoy it (I really did), and you don’t beat yourself up for it (well, I can’t say I didn’t feel any guilt).

Yes, that’s me on the left; I’ve come a long way

My history with Freihofers
Chances are you’ve never heard of Freihofers; it’s a northeast thing and I grew up in the northeast. Just think Entemmans chocolate chip cookies, if you’ve ever had those. Very similar.

I wasn’t overweight as a young girl, but somewhere in my teens that changed. And I was a binger. My binges weren’t massive, but remember I’m very petite and it doesn’t take much for me to gain weight.

As a teen, I could polish off an entire box of those cookies in one sitting. Or a 1 lb milk chocolate bar. An entire package of poptarts. Never all of that put together, just one thing at a time. And I would hide the evidence under my bed. I can’t remember how I got rid of it without my parents being aware.

Freihofers were my favorite chocolate chip cookies back then, but we rarely had them in the house. So when we did, I’d go to town on them.

And my mom was an awesome baker. She’d put stuff in the freezer and yes, I’d go down and take stuff out and eat it.

I think the big difference between what I did as a young adult and Saturday’s episode is all my bingeing as a young adult was furtive and definitely guilt ridden. This episode was quite out in the open, I owned what I did and moved on.

Stinking thinking about food
A lot of people suffer from all or nothing thinking when it comes to food, or exercise, or pretty much anything that seems difficult. That would be cleaning for me. As I was writing this on Tuesday, I had every intention of doing some more organizing in our bedroom, which looks like either a storm or a herd of teenage boys threw up over most of it.

And yet it didn’t get done.

It’s the all or nothing thinking: I’ve blown it, so I might as well just finish up that box of cookies (I didn’t, by the way). I don’t have time to run 5 miles today, so why bother running?

This type of thinking really holds you back. One bad meal, even one day of less than stellar eating, will not make you fat (or a bad person). If you don’t have time to get the workout you planned done, do something. Anything is better than nothing.

I wrote about this just yesterday, with my post on the word consistent.

Small steps add up to a marathon, after all.

Or in my case, a half marathon.

Rome wasn’t built in a day
I didn’t have an aha! moment that magically changed me from a binger to being able to handle most foods, most of the time. It’s been a long, slow, steady journey over decades. It is the proverbial marathon, not the proverbial sprint.

For a long time it was a matter of not keeping my trigger foods in the house: nut butters, chocolate, cookies, brownies — even dark chocolate edamame from Trader Joes at one point — if you’ve never tried them, maybe you shouldn’t.

Then it was a matter of slowly allowing most of those foods back in the house, but putting them in a place that isn’t easy to get to.

Most of those foods are things I can have in the house now. You could live off the nut butters and chocolate in this house for quite some time. Store bought cookies are rarely here, although on very rare occasions I bake with them.

In fact, I have a box of sandwich cookies that I think have been in the house for a month and I only used a couple in some overnight oats once. I’ve even had to throw away very old boxes of sandwich cookies!

I do bake cookies, but most of them are pretty healthy and most of the time I have  no trouble eating a couple at a time. Occasionally something will call to me, and then it goes into work with Mr. Judy.

I’ve even had to throw away chocolate, because I love trying new things, including chocolate, but I just can’t indulge in it as much as I’d like to.

Occasionally, though, obviously — I have an “episode”, as my WW leader calls it, like I did with the Freihofers cookies on Saturday. I’m not quite sure why it happened — it didn’t happen the first two times I ran this race. But that’s the point — no one is perfect, and you just have to move on and get right back on the healthy lifestyle train.

Here’s a couple of tricks to help you move away from bingeing or mindless eating. They may not work the first hundred times you try, but keep trying. Someday, something will click, and you’ll find them to be useful tools:

  • When a craving hits, wait. 10 minutes; 20 is even better. Your craving may disappear.
  • Phone a friend. Go for a walk. Pick up your knitting.
  • Drink something; we often mistake thirst for hunger.
  • HALT: are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? Only eat if you’re really hungry.
  • Are you hungry enough to eat an apple? If the apple doesn’t sound appealing, you’re probably not actually hungry for food. Try some of the activities above.

This hashtag has been also been beaten to death, but mostly because it’s true! While I regretted overindulging in the cookies because frankly that wasn’t the best recovery food, I also don’t feel all that guilty that I did.

I got back to healthy eating quickly. I gave the rest of the box to Mr.Judy, and didn’t have any more cookies. And the truth is — I really enjoyed those cookies!

And that is one of the differences between bingeing and a healthy lifestyle: during a binge you’re not just consuming food, you’re consumed by guilt. Often your eating is furtive and quick and you don’t even taste much of what you’re eating.

Maybe if they’d had some damn bananas, my episode wouldn’t have happened!

Tell me in the comments:

Have you ever binged?

If you used to binge, but no longer do, how did you stop?

What are you #sorrynotsorry about today (doesn’t have to be food!)?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud