A really important decision.

by Elizabeth on August 27, 2013

Hello, friends! So I’ve debated bringing this up on the blog for a while and I decided to just go for it. After all we’re all pretty close around here, right? As I mentioned yesterday, I want to get to a better place weight wise. I don’t have too far to go, but it will take some effort.

I’m going to essentially stop running for the time being. This is a big deal to me. I’ve been a runner over half of my life and not once have I chosen to take substantial time off. In fact, I really struggle with taking a day or two off. Friday I got some medical news that was pretty saddening but I immediately knew what I needed to do. I felt it in my core. I keep having this theme of “rest” come up in devotionals, conversations, church, and in prayer. For where I am with recovery, family, friends, and just in life I’m choosing to not run (or do any intense working out) for a period of time. It won’t be forever I don’t think. 

For the past ten + years I’ve been striving to be in the best physical shape possible in order to perform at a peak level for high school and college running. The thing is I’m not in high school or college anymore. I don’t need to compete. I’m a wife. I’m a mom. I want to have more kids one day. None of those things require you to be in great shape.

So I’m giving it up for now. It is currently day 4 of my new routine and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. I have moments of clarity and moments of sadness. I probably won’t be perfect at it and might slip in a run every now and then but for the most part I’m sticking to walking and hopefully getting in to yoga. For maybe the first time in my life I’m choosing to listen to my body and give it the rest it needs. 

Are there any yoga lovers out there? How long have you been practicing and where do you recommend starting?

How do people deal with the constant barrage of working out/eating clean messages that are coming at us daily? I almost feel the need to cut all social media out of my life.

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nelly August 27, 2013 at 5:35 am

GIRL I was there! I had to stop running and eat more to get my period back after losing it for years….I wanted to get pregnant and get a regular cycle and I wanted to do it NATURALLY!
After 3 months of not running and eating more…and yes 10 or so pounds I got my period naturally! Now I have a daughter who is my world! She is now 1 and I just got my period back after breastfeeding…baby #2 can now happen when we start trying….
Running is awesome, yes. But a child is sooo much more important and running can always commence afterward :)
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2 Heather @fitncookies August 27, 2013 at 6:00 am

I think it’s great listening to your body and giving it what it needs! I have no doubt that it will be challenging at times, but I also know you can do it, and it will be what your body needs.
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3 Debbie @ DebRuns August 27, 2013 at 6:11 am

It sounds like a very good reason to make such a difficult decision. Whenever it gets tough, just take a look at the beautiful little boy of yours and know that you are making the right decision. Getting back into running can always come later when the time is right. Best wishes!
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4 Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run. August 27, 2013 at 6:33 am

Good for you for listening to our body. That can be really tough.

I don’t know if you have Apple products, but there is a cheap app called Yoga Studio that I love. I’m not a huge yoga fan, but this is great. You can choose from three levels of difficulty and preprogrammed routines or choose the moves you want to do and it builds the workout for you.
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5 Jessica August 27, 2013 at 6:39 am

Good for you for making this tough decision!
I do yoga or pilates about once a week using videos (Rodney Yee’s yoga for athletes was my first, lately I’m using the P90X one) but there are also a lot of good yoga studios around. Also, places like Lululemon and Luke’s Locker offer free yoga some mornings. I’m not able to do those because of my work schedule (I leave REALLY early in the morning) but I bet they’re pretty good.


6 Jojo @ RunFastEatLots August 27, 2013 at 6:39 am

I admire your decision to stop running. It a really difficult decision to make, but I’m glad that you are listening to your body.
This “fitspiration” thing that’s been popping up all over social media lately is really problematic. I agree that it is a harmful message disguised in a positive light. Haha, better to just avoid the “Health and Fitness” boards on Pinterest
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7 Mindy August 27, 2013 at 7:11 am

Love yoga! I did it through most of my pregnancy and it was great when I stopped running towards the end. For me it was all about finding an instructor that I liked, which took some time. It is a great way to start the day!
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8 Alyssa @ See This Girl Run August 27, 2013 at 7:35 am

Good work my friend. Listening to your body is exactly what you should do. I love yoga! It is such great exercise! If you can, I recommend finding a yoga studio to go to for a bit. I have done yoga at home but I’ve gone to a studio a few times and it’s nice because I personally enjoy the classes in person better and the teachers will generally come around and fix your form which is great. You can still get injured doing yoga! Good luck!

As far as the media messages, take it with a grain of salt. You know what’s healthy and what isn’t. You know how fit your body really is. Just do what you know to be healthy and what is best for YOUR body. xoxo
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9 Carly @ Snack Therapy August 27, 2013 at 7:37 am

Good for you! You should be really, really proud. In the long run (no pun intended!), I’m sure your hiatus will totally pay off. Plus, it’s just more time to bake, cupcake shop, and squeeze Noah’s cute little cheeks.
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10 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries August 27, 2013 at 7:57 am

I’m SO SO proud of you. I can relate so well to how hard this decision is to make, but like Nelly said above, it’s SO worth it and running can always come back later. After being on the other side, I can tell you how good it was for me – mentally and physically. Like I said before, please email me if you ever need to vent, complain, have questions, or you just need some encouragement. I’m here for you! I did a lot of yoga before and during my pregnancy to help me still feel active, but not over-do it. I did a lot of videos off of http://www.doyogawithme.com (it’s FREE), and also bought some inexpensive DVDs from WalMart. xoxo
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11 Kendra August 27, 2013 at 8:11 am

Your decision is very respectable and requires a great deal of courage. As for yoga, i started practicing right about the same time i started running regularly 13 years ago. I started with a vhs tape i bought at ross dress for less and it turned out to be a really great one with modifications and more advanced stuff. It was years before i took a class. But bodyflow would be a great class to start with. I wish you the best in this big change.


12 char eats greens August 27, 2013 at 8:36 am

I agree with Ash and Nelly. I had some hard times with my bod when I started running more 2 years ago (aka when I signed up for and completed my first half marathon). I lost my period, lost weight (unintentionally), but felt so great, fast, in shape, etc. My doc told me I needed to cut back on running and gain weight. I was mad. How could my body fail me when I was doing such ‘good’ things to it (or so I thought). Running will always be there. I was having a talk with a friend yesterday about how it’s not my life, but it can be IN my life whenever I need it!

I would also like to practice yoga more. I definitely download from where Ashley suggested, along with yogadownload.com!
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13 Amy @ Run Mom Run August 27, 2013 at 8:59 am

I think as you become more confidant in who YOU are and what is good for your body the messages stop affecting you as much. When you truly know that you are a Daughter of God it’s so much easier to realize false advertising when you see it. You are unique and an individual and no one else can tell you how you think and feel. As you become more sure of what is right for you the comments and posts you see will start just sliding off because of the confidence knowing your true self will give you.
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14 Sarah @ Sweet Miles August 27, 2013 at 9:13 am

I think it’s great that you’re listening to YOU and doing what you know in your heart to be best…I applaud you :) I hope you enjoy your new routine!


15 Lisa August 27, 2013 at 9:20 am

I think this is the best decision you could possibly make. That’s amazing you have come to it on your own!
SO proud of you for this decision.
I can totally relate to this scenario. I had to do the exact same (although not with running) and in the end it was the best thing for me and my health. If you ever need someone to chat with, I’m here.
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16 Sandy August 27, 2013 at 9:25 am

I respect you for making this decision. I am sure it was a tough one but you know what is best for you and your family. You must listen to your body and you are making the right choice.


17 Katie @ running4cupcakes August 27, 2013 at 9:33 am

What a super hard decision, but it sounds like you know in your heart that it is the right one for you!! And what an awesome opportunity to check out some new activities. I haven’t done much yoga but I hear really good things about it and would love to hear your thoughts about it!
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18 Jill C. August 27, 2013 at 10:04 am

Good for you for listening to your body! It’s important that you remain healthy for your family and for yourself. I’m confident that you’ll flourish, even if you do sneak in a run or two (I mean, sometimes we NEED the break from life, right?). Keep up the good work and keep us posted!
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19 Nicole @ not before my tea August 27, 2013 at 10:50 am

Hi Elizabeth! As another runner, I totally, totally understand how hard it would be to give up running (even for a little while), so it?s really impressive that you?re strong enough to do this! I read this other blog (www.fitting-it-all-in.com) and Clare (the girl who writes it) is going through something similar to you (needing to gain weight, stopping intense exercise, etc.). It sounds like she?s doing pretty well with it, so maybe you should check her out?

Good luck with everything? I know that it probably doesn?t mean much from essentially a random, blogging stranger, but I?m sending all the good vibes I can your way! :)
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20 HilJo August 27, 2013 at 10:52 am

I loved my months of not running. I missed it, but every time I have taken off (6 months for injury recently, but in college I only ran cross country and took spring off from running. Bold I know haha!)

I think yoga is great, but I would recommend taking some time off ANY exercise for a while because it is super easy to go overboard and cling to “fitness”. I took a couple months of NO activity and read as many books (Les miserables, count of monte cristo, Kristin Lavransdatter, and some other classics I had always wanted to read but never gotten around to) as I could :) It was a great decision. Eventually I added some activity and then when I was healed started running. And once a runner, always a runner. It will be surprisingly easy to start running again when it is time :)

I hope it goes well for you!! Enjoy the time, count it as a blessing and fill the time with positive activities.


21 Megan Peiser August 27, 2013 at 11:26 am

Hey Elizabeth!
I first started doing yoga at the Katy YMCA when I was in High School– I really liked that it wasn’t a competitive atmosphere, but more of a “go at your own pace” kind of environment, where the instructors introduced modifications for each move so that you could choose what kind of practice you wanted to have. Though yoga isn’t the same *kind* of workout as running, I find that I get the same mental and emotional benefits from it that I do from my runs: the peace, the ‘alone time’, the relaxation, the time to work through my thoughts, the feeling of success and wellfulness for my body, etc. I hope you enjoy it!

Best Wishes,


22 Elizabeth August 27, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I’m a member there :-) I definitely plan on trying it out!


23 sheenamrivera August 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Proud of you! I know just how hard of a decision that is for you! I admire your awareness around it as well as strength and courage to follow your true intuition! Taking care of our bodies can look like many different things, it doesn’t always have to mean being in peak physical condition. I’m still trying to figure out my balance in that as well. I value being fit, bc it gives me the ability to do the things i love with those i love and enjoy life, but at the same time being ok with not striving for what I once had bc my life does not neccessarily call for that level of fitness. Thanks for the thought provoking post :)


24 court! August 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm

hey girl,

congrats! what a wise, mature decision. really proud of you. i LOVE, LOVE, LOVE yoga!!! i began practicing in college and have continued on. tara stiles does GREAT mini podcasts you can download for free. there are a lot of other free video yoga podcasts, too, when you search.

i do, however, think you should start with a studio that offers BEGINNER CLASSES!!! it is SO important to know the basics and get your alignment figured out before you begin practicing on your own.

i’ve definitely been known to cry after great yoga practices. it is such a spiritual practice for me (and physical, too! but that’s not always my focus…)

best of luck, m’dear! xx


25 Elizabeth August 27, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I’ll look into these podcasts! Thank you!


26 Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom August 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Good for you! Good luck with this new transition and I hope that everything works out for the best for you <3 Know that we all support you and it's amazing/awesome that you're listening to your body. Because I workout a lot and know what's best for me, I sometimes forget that it's not normal for everyone to live an active lifestyle or to run 5 days a week like I do. I just had a friend, who just celebrated losing 20 lbs, tell me that seeing me tweet about running made her feel obese. I NEVER want to make anyone feel bad about themselves, so that was kind of eye opening. I'm just doing what's normal to me and being myself, but I never thought that it would make anyone else feel bad about what THEY'RE doing. Good luck!
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27 Liz @ The Girl on Fire Now August 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Congratulations on the decision! I know that it wasn’t easy (probably) but I can tell that you will be happier and I love your perspective on everything!
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28 Rebecca H August 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Good for you for taking care of yourself and letting yourself be a priority. I would recommend yogavibes.com it is $20 a month and you get access to a ton of yoga videos that will give you an idea of which styles you like. Just remember yoga is never supposed to hurt! Be careful trying new things and have fun taking time off!!!


29 Lindsey @ OneMotherofaDay August 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm

You know what is best for you! I personally have found that having running apart of my life has actually made me a better person, wife, mother and human being. I love that running is a part of my life. I am not over here an elite athlete by any means, but I am currently training for my first full marathon in October. I love the challenge, both mentally and physically it gives me! I love that we are an active family and will always have exercise a part of our daily routine. I just started taking yoga classes about 2 weeks ago and I love it!! I really believe that it has helped me in my training. I have been living Paleo since January 2013 (off and on) and the reason why I started was because I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and wanted some relief. I couldn’t imagine going back to the Standard American Diet.
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30 Melissa @ My Peach Life August 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I have just gone through the same thing. When a run/ workout a lot I stop getting my period. My husband and I have recently started trying to have a baby, well you need a period before that can happen so my MD basically told me to lay off the high intensity workouts and try yoga. I have never been a big fan because the first classes I took were always so slow and hiding poses forever made me bored and frustrated with the workout. I found a yoga studio that does “flow or power” yoga. Basically each movement is linked to your breath so you are constantly moving. It gives me the workout and movement I crave but is low impact enough that I have gotten my cycle back on track. I did try a lot of studios before I found one that I liked. Hope this helps! And good for you for making such an important decision and not keeping it a secret, it helps knowing that others have the same struggles!
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31 Elizabeth August 27, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Thank you so much Melissa! I will definitely look for flow or power ones like you recommended! Good luck to you ;-)


32 Lauren @ Dallas Duo Bakes August 27, 2013 at 6:28 pm

I’m kind of in the same boat as you. :)

I discovered yoga about 4 years ago and took classes at 24 hour fitness. I wasn’t running more than 3 miles a day, and went to yoga/pi-yo 5 days a week and actually got pretty lean! You’ll be surprised the muscles yoga works!

I no longer have a 24 hour membership, but I’ve discovered two yoga videos on YouTube that I like. Jillian Michaels is more fast-pace and keeps your heart rate up the entire time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5nyrD4eM64

The other yoga video I like by Tara Stiles. Its really relaxing and incorporates lots of twisting movements: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUVZAMbGtDg


33 Nikki @ Will Run For Pizza August 27, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Girl, when God starts bringing something up to in a variety of ways, you KNOW it’s time to listen! or else! ;) More power to ya though! If that’s what He thinks you need to do, keep relying on Him to give you the strength and peace about it. And to give you that “satisfaction” in some other way – through yoga or whatever else you choose to do. Your health is so much more important than a run something that won’t give you any benefits! I’ll be praying for ya!


34 Jen Floyd @ milesandblessings August 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm

That is a really hard decision not only to make but to follow through with…I did not have the same situation…but I also had to make a similiar decision.
With God’s help, and a lot of prayer, and help from my husband and friends…something clicked and I just saw what I was doing to myself and my family. That was about 8 years ago.
I can say this: when I struggle I go to God and ask for his help and I take and starting thinking about what the most important things in my life are. Do I want my girls to do this to themselves or think that their weight is the most important thing? Do I want to be remembered as the girl with that problem? Do I want to have an impact on others? I was totally unhappy and without energy when I was at my worst…I do not want to live that way. So yes, sometimes those thoughts will creep in…but I immediatly get them out! I cannot let them linger there! Those thoughts usually come from the media too. While I don’t find the need to cut it out completely…I do see the need to keep it in it’s place…most of those people are miserable!
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35 Sydney Cutler August 28, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I am so proud of you!!! Taking this risk is a huge test of faith, and the fact that you have made this decision shows just how brave you are. There will be hard days, but when they come, don’t let those mean, hurtful thoughts pull you down. Forgive yourself and move on. Take it one day at a time- I have complete faith you can do this!
Miss you!


36 Sarah @ A Refining Adventure September 4, 2013 at 4:53 am

I admire you so much for making that decision. I’m in the same place. Although I’m not a life-long runner, I am someone who played sports all through high school and worked out all through college and since graduating. Along with my therapist and nutritionist, I’ve decided to stop working out until I’m in a healthier place. It’s downright impossible some days, but overall, it’s been ok. I’ve been doing lots of pilates, which I really LOVE! Again, thanks for sharing this with us…I respect you and your decision so much!
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37 Susan September 13, 2013 at 9:21 am

Great post! I am learning these same lessons. I am 41 and have to realize that things need to slow down or I sacrifice my health. I am trying to “listen to the master” (aka my body) instead of my mind telling my body what to do. I had to “let go of running’ over the past few years which for me means going from 30 miles per week (5 runs of 6 miles each) to 2-3 runs of 2-3 miles per week. I fill in with swimming, yoga and biking! All of which are very gentle on the body. It’s not always easy but I am finding that a few short runs per week are enough. I feel really great when I am done, and although I always want to do more, I tell myself not to get greedy. Leave the workout craving more not wishing I had not pushed that last 1/2 mile. Another thing I used to do is run/workout on vacation. Anymore, I just don’t. I focus on the rest and enjoying a new place. I’m not going to say that has been completely easy, but it is getting better and my body really appreciates the rest! You take care and hang in there. God bless you!


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