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Food: the New Workout

I am walking a fine line between being kind to myself, saying nice things to the woman in the mirror… and accepting and condoning lazy, pitiful behaviors.

I need to stop eating garbage. Yes, I need to lose 4,000,832 pounds. Yes, I need to stop being so impatient with myself. But I am really making excuses, and I’m tired of it.

We all slip up with our diets, our workouts, our tempers. How do we stop the bad behaviors from spiraling out of control? 

Sweaty from lunchtime workout. My favorite time of day because this is when the co-workers ask:
1) Have you been crying?
2) Why are you so RED?
3) How DO you have time to workout with all this WORK
that has to be done around here?

I recently started Chrissie Wellington’s new book, A Life Without Limits (review to come soon….so far, awesome). Me and ole CW have a few things in common. [No, not our fast and mad running skilz. I know that was your first thought.]

Chrissie suffered from eating disorders in her twenties. I’m not bulemic or anorexic, but I’m on the eating disorder spectrum… just the other end. A ridiculous binger. If the object is not tied down, then it will likely soon be covered in Ranch and devoured.
Chrissie Wellington also wanted to become a lawyer, but decided she hated it and did not pursue it (point one for Chrissie). She was always a nail biter, but overcame it in 2007 (point two for Chrissie).
We all have our things. Even Chrissie Wellington.  My things are: food and alcohol. I work hard… and I like to play hard. I am desperate for balance.   
All the wisdom I have is wrapped up in my lunch today. I packed hummus, spring mix salad, organic carrots (check out those beautiful carrots!) and organic olive oil dressing.  Every meal that isn’t ridiculous is a step forward for me. Somehow on a run, I have no problem making my body push just one more step ahead. But when it comes to food…. why can’t I just look at it like another portion of training? It is training.

Food is my fuel and I am filling my tank with poop-sicles. 

Triathlon clicked with me when I realized that progress from training was amazing, steady and directly proportional to the work that I put into it. The realization that I simply needed to do the work, day by day, was a big and big dividend-paying revelation. That as long as I took each workout and completed it, one day at a time, I would eventually find myself crossing a 70.3 finish line. And I was right.

Starting back into training again is wonderful. I am semi-scared, to be honest. But as I did 35 minutes on the dreaded elliptical (4 week countdown to running), plus abs, I had the same realization again:  I must just do the workouts, day by day and keep going, to get me to Augusta 70.3

Delicious organic carrots! Seriously. Delicious.

 As I realized that my training would continue to be a slow, steady gain, I thought about my food back at the office. I made a tangible mind-stomach connection:

Like my training, I need to take my meals one step at a time. Complete every “good” meal like a workout, plan for the next one, applaud and move on. If I have a bad workout, I don’t beat myself up (too badly). I need to play the same workout game …only with food.

Maybe if I flip my mind around to fueling efficiently and smartly, then this binger might turn into something slimmer. Good golly, I hope so.

I am always looking for a quick and delicious protein supplement to use for a breakfast smoothie. Premier Nutrition has sponsored me to try their shakes for the next several days. They have some delicious looking recipes. I look forward to sharing my experience with you. Stay tuned.

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  • nancy

    May 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Good reminder for those of us trying to eat better. I've been trying to get back into the swing of things nutrition and training wise and was very encouraged by this post. You couldn't have time it more perfectly.

  • TX Runner Mom

    May 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Great post! I have been wanting to blog about my eating issues, but just haven't done it. I am a binge eater too and I am really having a difficult time eating the right things while being out with an injury. When I am training, I find it a little easier, because I tell myself that I have to "fuel the machine" with things that will make it perform better. When I am not in training, my mind doesn't see things that way!

  • Kim

    May 2, 2012 at 1:27 am

    I cannot even express how much I relate to this post. I (re)started this forever journey in August 2010…I was doing great and had lost 40+ pounds (on my way to 80) by November. Yea, well, since then I've gained back about 15 and I am NOT happy. But, I'm on that same eating disorder spectrum you speak of…and the harder it gets, the worse I get. Just today while I'm pushing myself on the treadmill I'm trying to convince myself that if I start eating better I will lose the weight…and if I lose the weight the running will get "easier" and I can likely get "faster" (a relative term). Anyway, this is why I love your blog so much!:) Thanks for this post. And, you are NOT alone. Food and wine…I'm right there with you!

  • chasingdownadream

    May 2, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I"m right there with you on this post as well. I work so hard to train, train, train and then I shove food into my yap because it tastes good. I am really trying to start thinking of food as fuel. And I keep saying that is what I"m going to do, but I get home and there is beer and there is ice cream….. so….. why not. Ugh. One meal at a time, one meal at a time. Thanks for the post!

  • Liza M

    May 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    This is why I love your blog…it always hits home with me….and usually just when I need it. Also, Kim's comment above could have been written by me. No joke, every word!
    Perhaps we were triplets separated at birth? 😉

    Good luck to you in this food journey. It sucks, we all know it, but you can dooooooo it! One meal at a time baby!!

  • kepotts

    May 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I 100% understand and applaud your "top down" honesty. Try to be good to yourself through this journey and remember to take it one success or failure at a time. The end result can not be reached in one day. I once heard someone say that "women are creatures who seek instant gratification and get frustrated if it's not attainable". Very true. Hang in there and keep doing the healthy things you are!


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