Thursday, June 4, 2009

Food is Fuel

Yesterday at lunch I was so hungry that I was past the point of no return. I’m sure we’ve all been there. We train a lot, burn a lot of calories, and constantly need to refuel. I usually get up by 5:30, eat breakfast by 7:30, then a snack, then a second mini breakfast, and then I wonder why the hell I am still so darn hungry at 11:00. Well, it was noon and I hadn’t had anything to eat since 9:00 that morning. I couldn’t think straight, I was starting to shake, and numbers were swirling on my spreadsheets. Not to mention that I was starting to get really bitchy. The weather was rainy and gross and I had unfortunately left my umbrella in the car, so I headed down to our downstairs cafeteria. I had spent a lot of time straightening my hair that morning and there was no need to go out in the rain and end up looking like a chia pet.
I was drooling over the fact that they had tuna salad, celery sticks, AND roma tomatoes on the salad bar, when I heard someone mention the cookie diet. My ears perked up. While I am not a big fan of the baked product, I have been known to shamelessly plow through some raw dough. What is this cookie diet, I wondered and I scooted nearer to the two conversing ladies. What I heard was enough to make my stomach turn. A fad diet. Have you heard of it? You eat these special cookies throughout the day and it is supposed to help control your hunger. I’m sure they are extremely healthy cookies too. I just shook my head and went back to the salad bar. What is wrong with people; don’t they realize that fad diets don’t work? Sure they may be a quick fix, but as soon as you slide off of them, BOOM the weight comes back quicker then my dog at an all you can eat buffet.
Now, I don’t even begin to claim to be the queen of eating healthy. I eat more then my fair share of what I deem to be “crap”, but for the most part, I eat clean and wholesome foods. I eat to fuel my body and I don’t think of food as either a friend or an enemy. I don’t eat when I’m bored or sad; food is NOT my best friend. I eat when I’m hungry. I don’t feel guilty when I eat half of that can of frosting that was meant for the cake (good thing that I bought that back up can); food is not my enemy. Food is fuel and nourishment and nothing else; so stop thinking about it in any other terms.
Most likely, when you start eating clean and wholesome foods, you don’t miss all of those processed, starchy, and surgery foods; they begin to taste too sweet and pretty disgusting. I hate the word diet, why can’t we just learn to eat healthy for life. I think that is the one thing that people who are on fad diets don’t realize or maybe just don’t think about. Learn to eat healthy and don’t set unrealistic expectations on yourself and you will probably see long-term results.
Now, if someone would please bring me a ladder; I would be glad to climb down off of my soapbox.

I am getting back into my long runs tonight; I am very excited. I would like to run outside today if the pollen count is not too high. My energy level is back to normal since all of my workouts have been inside. I hate to jeopardize that with running outside, but the thought of a long run on the drealmill is not very exciting.


Anonymous said...

cookie diet!?!? Sign me up!! :)

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more.

Cheetah Girl said...

I constantly fight the food battle, but totally agree with you about using food just as nourishment and fuel--period! I should probably tape that to my wall, ha.

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

That was one of the things I found out early in my running life. If I ate junky foods, I would feel terrible during my runs. Now when I eat a junky food, I can feel it as soon as I eat it. I think my body has reprogrammed my brain to not like fatty foods because it knows what it feels like to run on crappy food. Running is a beautiful thing!