Food. Nutrition. Health. Indulgence. Protein. Carbs. Veggies. Sweets. Enriched. Whole. Complex. Processed. Sodium. MSG. Shit I can’t pronounce. Things that come out of the ground. Meat? No meat? Gluten free? What is Gluten? Dairy. No Dairy? High Fructose Corn Syrup. Artificial. Organic. Local.
I think you get the point. Food is one of the most overwhelming things to deal with. At least in my opinion. Well I should say it used to be for me. I’m a little late on my post this week and I was toying with several topics. I have been avoiding the topic of food and nutrition like the plague. But after mulling over ideas and timely occurrences, food seemed like a great idea to touch on. Over the weekend, my friends and family joined together to rage in Las Vegas for birthday celebrations. As much fun as this was, I am totally paying for it now. Literally. My body does not recover the way it used to, especially because I rarely drink anymore.
Along with drinking comes the eating out of unhealthy binge foods. I basically lived off bagels and cream cheese. I didn’t do too terrible besides the Hot Cheetos Puffs, beef jerky, Chinese food and Chipotle. I guess Chipotle isn’t the worst thing I could have eaten. Any who, my body feels super sluggish now, but the weekend was awesome, soooooo it was totally worth it. I guess what I am getting at is I can’t be upset with myself for an indulgent weekend. Plus, I rocked that bikini. For the first time in my life, I felt comfortable posing for pictures that “nude.” like ever.
Eating is All About Listening to Your Body
I have had a love-hate relationship with food almost my whole life. As a kid, I was super picky. As an adult, the exact opposite, which killed me. Either I loved everything or I thought I did because I don’t like being told I can’t. You could say I had some serious issues. I’ve seen therapists and nutritionists year after year. Honestly, none of it helps unless you want it to (talking to someone is very useful, but it’s not effective until you, yourself, believe it). Now that you’ve read my discussion on the year of 2015 being MY year, I truly believe that in multiple aspects of my life.
Food has always gotten the better of me. Controlled me. Consumed my thoughts. It’s been a miserable ride. As a female runner, it’s been difficult not to think you’re supposed to look and eat a certain way. I know I’m not the only woman out there with these thoughts. Social outlets and the media have a lot to do with image and it really destroys us. My weight has always fluctuated because in the end I was never happy. Not anymore.
Once I finally became comfortable with who I wanted to be and it didn’t matter what others thought, I became comfortable with food. I knew that because I signed up for the the AFC Half with my sister, I had to stop treating my body like crap if I wanted to get through 13.1 miles without dying or hurting myself. And I mean seriously.
As an athlete, food has always interested me: how food fuels the body, what food groups do what, what combinations make you perform the best and eating styles for different body chemistry’s. I claim to be no expert, but I know my body. I have read on this topic for years and listened to coaches and nutrition friends. I think I have a pretty good grasp on what works for me and that is what is important. It is all about listening to your body. Truly listening. As adults we lose touch with our body signals, as kids we eat instinctively. Where did we lose touch with this process?
I can’t speak for everyone, but I most certainly did. The ironic thing is, now I think about food less and I eat more intuitively. I listen to my body, not my mind. It has done wonders. Eating has become a natural process, instead of a worrisome process. I mean don’t get me wrong there are nights when I’m like “do I want homemade pizza or steak, asparagus and rice….AAHH I don’t know! or “I want a
piece of chocolate bar, is that OK?” But in the end, if I get my protein, veggies and complex carbs in the proper amount, I’m good. As simple as it is, life is all about balance!
There are days when I eat Froyo, chips and leftover Chinese food, but most days I pay attention to what my body needs. Since I let my mind go and just listened, I have been able to feel good and in turn lose weight. I want to reiterate my intentions are not to lose weight. I just really want to feel good physically and mentally. When I stopped concentrating so hard on what I looked like and my body weight, I felt better and I did end up losing weight. I just ran because I loved running, not to lose weight. I don’t own a scale.
My main goal was to not think too much about sticking to a strict diet. I wanted my choices to be daily habits, not something I was forcing myself to do. Making healthy meals and researching recipes is now fun. I now love cooking. It’s great learning how to make new things. One night I made cottage cheese enchiladas. Sounds disgusting. It was sooooo good. I love cottage cheese and had some I needed to eat before it went bad. So I got on ‘the Google’ and researched. It turned out just like enchiladas, but it was way healthier. Discovering what works for you is a process, but if you just listen to your body, you’ll find peace. You’ll feel great and
run workout live better.
I’m not perfect and I still feel similar to how Buddha looks when I sit at my office chair, but I feel better and I’m happy with myself. I still eat chocolate. I still drink beer. I still eat pub macaroni and cheese. I just listen more. I get my cake and eat it too, occasionally. I have finally let go and I just live. My biggest tips for being healthy and not letting food control you are:
- Small portions more frequently throughout the day
- Don’t let yourself not have stuff you like ie two oreos is not going to kill you, obviously don’t eat the whole row.
- Stop eating when you’re full. I always split things in half, wait about 20 minutes, if I’m still hungry I eat more.
- Balanced meals: Protein, veggies, complex carbs.
- Read labels: low sugar and low sodium.