February 26, 2009

Strong Bones Will Take You Far

Let me tell you a quick story about why I love my daily cup of yogurt. Growing up I couldn't stand the thought of yogurt or really any dairy product besides ice cream (which would explain the 30 extra pounds I carried around with me!) but that all changed about three years ago. In August of 2006 I was training for the Richmond Marathon when I started to notice a nagging pain in my left foot. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it until it was so painful that I couldn't stand up without wincing in pain. I couldn't walk around barefoot and the slightest touch would send shooting hot pain through my whole body. Well, stubborn me kept trying to run on it and diagnosed myself with a bad case of plantar fascitis. I continued to run until October thinking that it would eventually feel better but when the pain continued to get worse I was forced to go to the doctor. I was diagnosed with a foot full of stress fractures. Every bone in my left foot was affected in some way and I was forced to stop running for six weeks. The doctor was absolutely amazed that I was walking let alone running 50-60 miles a week. I on the other hand just felt stupid for letting this problem get so far out of hand. I was severely lacking in calcium in my diet and was told to change that immediately. I started taking a calcium supplement and eating all of the calcium rich foods that I could find. It was a long six weeks of no running. I was cleared to walk the marathon which made me happy but it was so hard to watch the throngs of people run past me on two healthy feet. Being injured really sucks but I think that it gives us a chance to step back and take a look at how we treat our bodies. I was obviously doing something wrong and my body reacted to that in a negative way. I have recovered completely now and actually came back a stronger and faster runner but the most important thing I took away from this experience was the importance of calcium and a healthy balanced diet. I cannot expect my body to perform the way I want it to if I treat it like crap. I have to be vigilant in making sure that I provide all of the nutrients it needs to run, bike, swim and compete. This is what motivates me to eat my yogurt every day and to be honest, I have started to actually enjoy it. I freeze my yogurt and then pretend that it is ice cream which is not only good for my bones but also makes me feel like I am having a treat. There is a great yogurt called Cascade Fresh that has no added sugar, is hormone free and has real fruit in every cup. It is a staple in my diet along with my calcium supplement and this makes my bones very, very happy! Are you getting all of the calcium you need? It is definitely a question worth asking.


  1. Love yogurt w/ crushed up green odwalla bar in it just a half a bar now dont wanna overdo it