In the weeks after finishing Ironman Florida in 2012 I made the decision that if I just lost 20 lbs I could be super fast in 2013.  I worked really, really hard to not eat, (further) messed up my metabolism and hormone levels, gained 25lbs and ended up being diagnosed with an eating disorder.  Not the outcome I wanted.  I put so much pressure on myself to achieve a very specific outcome that I essentially sabotaged my ability to ever reach the outcome (cue the Beastie Boys Sabotage at this point).   Coming out of Florida this year I have a similar goal — lose weight (now more like 40 lbs) to go faster.  This time around, however, life is a little different. 

To start, my foot is still a pretty big mess.  Post-race its swollen, bruised and there’s a decent sized blood splotch (technical term, I know) under my scar from surgery.  While my foot feels a whole lot better now than it did during the race, I know there is still internal healing that needs to be done.  I’m not sure how long it will take to fully heal but I want to give it all the time it needs. 

Post Florida foot, swollen and bruised.

Also instead of heading home right after Florida, I spent last week in New Orleans for the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Conference (for those of you who follow me on Twitter – @kburnsgallager – that’s why there were all the #abalel tweets last week).  I am a huge nerd and really like the educational panels at conferences.  Given the choice I would have gone to school forever.  In addition to some great panels, New Orleans also has fantastic food.   It was nice to have a week to eat whatever I wanted without feeling guilty or upset (although at times I did feel a little queasy).  I took full advantage and ate a little bit of everything.  Some of my favorites were beignets from Cafe du Monde (like fried dough but so, so much better), red beans and rice from Mothers, raw oysters that were as big as my hand from Felix’s Oyster Bar and char grilled oysters from Drago’s.  I didn’t have a bad meal my entire trip and I ate more oysters than I can count. 

Beignets from Cafe du Monde.

Now that I am back home in Connecticut, the focus is not on dieting but on nourishing myself so that my body can heal.  I know that I have high stress levels and I know that my hormones are out of balance due to my stress levels.  The goal is to feed my body what it needs including lots of whole vegetables and fruits, to work on managing stress through yoga and meditation and to make sure I get enough sleep.  Day-to-day training will take a back seat to taking care of myself. Sounds easy, but its tougher than it looks.  When life gets hectic I am very good at taking care of everything else before truly taking care of me.  I’m hoping that by focusing on the process I will be able to eventually achieve results (and break 11 hours at Florida in 2014) and not repeat my mistakes of 2013. 

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Kelly Burns Gallagher

mccarter english employment litigator / oiselle team runner / coeur sports triathlete / sonic endurance coach & race director / writer / dartmouth '02 / emorylaw '05

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