Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Food is Fuel

I received a lot of support about my last post about disordered eating. So many people are going through or have gone through a similar situation, and it really nice to know that I'm not alone. Since writing that post I have tried to be more aware of which situations are the most problematic so that I can work on coming up with ways to minimize my chances of overeating.

I've always payed a fair amount of attention to how other people perceived my actions and decisions. This led me to eat less than I wanted when around other people to ensure that I fit in. Growing up I ate a lot more than all of my friends but was at a healthy weight and even skinny at times. This didn't stop people from making comments about how much I ate. Once I went to college and was no longer surrounded by the same people I became suddenly aware of how much I was eating. Never mind that I was considerably more active than those around me.

Instead of eating normal amounts when I am with other people I am eating enough food to keep me satisfied for a few hours so that I don't end up going home and eating more because I am still hungry. 

Honey Greek yogurt, blueberries, almonds, sunflower seeds, mint, drizzled with honey.. YUM!

I also realized that in my attempt to eat healthy I had cut out almost all carbs. I was eating almost exclusively fruits and vegetables with some crap food thrown in there. I love eating salads for lunch but they just weren't keeping me full. Carbs are an essential nutrient and are especially important for endurance athletes. Nutrition is such a big part of training and performance. With race day a little less than 8 weeks away it is even more important for me to be fueling my body properly.

So I am choosing to eat wholegrain carbs. I love carbs and have a tendency to eat too many of them, which is why I stopped eating them in the first place. I don't want to tell myself I can't have a bagel for breakfast if that is what I really want. I am instead trying to be smarter about the decisions I make. Tomorrow will hopefully (!) be a snow day which I am planning on spending watching movies and enjoying a loaf of homemade coconut banana bread.

I think the biggest thing I need to change is the way I look at food. Instead of thinking about food as a way to lose weight I need to think of food as fuel. Food is what is fueling my body for both everyday activities and training. More times than I would like to admit a workout has been ruined because of either what I ate or how much I ate beforehand. It is okay to indulge every once in awhile but for the most part I should be eating healthy, natural foods that will keep my body energized during the day.

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