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The Food & The Fuel (And the Difference Between the Two)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

When I eat a HUGE double chocolate brownie 2-4 hours before heading out for a run, I can knock out 9 miles like my arse is on fire. In fact - that's exactly what I did yesterday. I stayed within my calorie range for everything else I ate during the day and then proceeded to consume almost every calorie I was going to burn in ooey-gooey chocolatey goodness.

This is the problem with training. This is also the reason the scale hasn't moved in weeks. I know it, the scale knows it - but here and now is when I let you in on my dirty little secret. I'm allowing myself to over-fuel because it feels like as long as I'm not gaining, I'm getting away with it. But it has to stop!

I know I haven't been around for a while. Life has been happening, but my plateau has brought about an avoidance of blogging (though I still read yours and creep all your Spark pages frequently!) I'm definitely one of those people that feels as though if I have nothing positive to say or no life lesson to impart, then there's no point running my mouth about the lack of success I've been having lately. But the "No Boring Blogs" rule has perhaps allowed me a little too much slack and freedom and maybe I just need to buck up and get accountable again - or if not that, just vent a little about the frustrations I'm feeling over being hungry all the time and being able to do little about it...but eat.

So back to the chocolate brownie. It seriously is THE BEST fuel I have found for my long runs. And so how can I deny myself that little piece of decadence before setting out to tackle impossible distance after impossible distance? Tell me a year ago that today I'd be a person who could run 9+ miles and I'd slap you silly. But it's true. I can do it. And if eating the brownie before hand gives me the positive brain power and bodily energy (aka sugar rush) to believe that I can do it, then so be it.

But it's not helping the scale. And neither is pigging out the day AFTER the long run because my body is still burning at an elevated rate and I'm hungry like hippo for the majority of the day. And neither is skipping my swim night because I just don't have it in me only to come home and eat MORE food (which I just made myself track every single stinkin' ounce of).

This week is particularly bad. Because I just celebrated Thanksgiving over the weekend I have a fridge full of delicious leftovers - which for the most part are healthy - turkey, squash, cauliflower, potatoes. But with the healthy leftovers also comes the cakes, cookies and pies that I NEVER have in my house. I wake up in the morning and walk directly to the chocolate cupcakes and eat two before I can even wipe the sleep out of my eyes. That is INSANE. But that's what I've been doing. Thankfully, I consumed the last of the chocolate this morning. One less thing to worry about. But the pies are still there. I even tried to get rid of most of it at a work meeting on Monday. Still came home with over half of it left. I could throw it out. I could. Why can't I just throw it out?

So I'm struggling. Big time. But the good news is that I'm running my butt off and my training is progressing nicely. I can already run a 15K and my race isn't for another 3 weeks, so I'm going to keep training for a half marathon distance until there's snow on the ground. So at least there's that. I'm not just eating. There is major calorie burn happening as well - but only enough to take care of the extra 'narf sessions shoving pastries in my pie hole as I'm leaning over the sink. Sexy. It happens to the best of us I suppose.

I'm not one to throw excuses at bad behaviour (who am I joking, of course I am) but I did just go back on the pill and my hormones are likely messed up and causing some of this crazy hunger/eating. And there's the running. And then there's just life which someone makes me want to binge every day just for living it. Things are ok - but they're JUST ok, and I'm only capable of making change happen as fast as it will happen...which right now is really darn slow.

I really shouldn't have skipped my swim tonight. But at least I'm here writing again in lieu of the exercise. And I'll do something active tomorrow on my regular day off to make up for it.

My mantra has always been "As long as you're doing everything right, the weight will come off." I just need to get back to doing everything right again.

I might still keep the chocolate brownie fuel for my long-run days, but that leaves six other days of the week to make up the difference. I need to kick the sugar to the curb, refresh my system with whole foods and tons of fruits and veggies, and start fueling my body the way I should be and the way that I KNOW feels better than what I'm doing now. No more being tired all the time, no more sugar highs and sugar lows, no more being lazy about getting the proper nutrients to make sure that I'm NOT hungry all the time. My body has been running on economy grade long enough. Time to give it the high test and then let it perform to the max.

It's time to feel better (cause I'm tired of feeling crappy) and it's up to me to make that happen. Time to taste the difference between just "food" and real, solid, delicious, and good-for-you FUEL.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Mmm, a brownie before a run sounds like a very tasty idea. I need to do the same thing - plan better food for most of the time instead instead some of the time.
    2351 days ago
  • RIVER331
    I love this idea! Just this week I've said I'm going to start journaling more... that was 4 days ago and today was the first day I actually did it! I'm volunteering for your Excuse Of The Day plan!

    These harder days build character emoticon Thanks for sharing and GREAT job on staying with your motivators - whatever gets us there!!! emoticon emoticon
    2351 days ago
    One more thing - sharing when you are not doing fantastic makes you human, and helps those of us in the same boat (helooo, plateau for almost 3 months now). Thank you for sharing. Love ya girl! emoticon
    2352 days ago
    I think re-evaluating things is really key to this whole journey, and you are always doing that. You really are such an inspiration. Yes, look at how far you have come in a YEAR! Girl, don't get me started. If the brownie helps you, so be it - adjust accordingly or perhaps find something that tastes almost as good as that brownie and still fuels you but maybe half the cals. The first step is knowing what's going on, and your body and mind are not pulling any wool over your head (or whatever that phrase is??) maybe it's over your eyes, not head. Either way, you have GOT this, and I am so incredibly proud of you for your distance and endurance. And stamina, and guts, and oh, I could go on, and on, and on. Oh yeah, cuteness. Definitely got that. emoticon emoticon
    2352 days ago
    you and i are in the same boat. I think you are going to do just fine.

    you considered the book Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald? it is really helping me. we can do this...

    journey is not over yet...
    2352 days ago
    I am completely in the same boat as you and I can totally feel you! I think you're on the right track back to healthy and as long as your run days are once a week and you don't over do it then other days with food then totally BROWNIE UP!!!

    I totally believe in you and your abilities!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2352 days ago
    That darn sugar is just so frustrating. I had the same issue with Thanksgiving (and some birthday) leftovers. I at least was able to send the untouched extra pumpkin pie with my son when he went back to school. (He has a metabolism of a small army - 6'5" and 180 lbs.) But that still left a couple of pieces of pie. And a quarter of a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream cake. I'm now learning another downside of being an empty nester. No one to eat the leftover goodies!!!
    2352 days ago
    9 miles! I can't believe how far you've come in the past year. I think you're amazing!!
    2352 days ago
    Oh man, I have been right there with you on the "just good enough to skate by" nutrition. Not so much with the distance running, but I have been just diligent enough to keep the scale steady. Sounds like we both need to focus on doing what we know needs to be done. Then both our scales will move in the right direction and we won't have to bribe them.
    2352 days ago
    You are not alone !!! Same thing for me, I caught myself having French Vanilla ice cream last night WHY? Because it was in the house instead of having some almond milk with berries.

    Woohoo on your 9 miles, you rock. Just a suggestion perhaps freeze your brownies individually and only take when needed?
    2352 days ago
    I'm having a lot of the same eating issues and I'm not running 9+ miles at a shot.! So I am gaining not maintaining. I can't run and I can't weight lift now so I really need to do the good-for -you fuel thing. I'll be thinking of you while I struggle to make better choices.
    2352 days ago
  • RIVER331
    I hear you. I've been where you are with the sugar addiction, stuffing my face with garbage foods, and completely unable to throw out anything that I thought I 'might' want later. It's sick, the way sugar messes with our heads AND our emotions. emoticon

    You already know just what to do, and you will do it - maybe cold turkey, maybe gradually; if you're like me, it's definitely a long-drawn-out process! But the end is achievable, and every step makes it easier, so you can build momentum.

    I've never had an exercise program before SP, except for walking... I cannot imagine running as far as you are now, it's just fantastic to me - emoticon but you had the will and drive to get there, and progress forward, so I know you can tackle your current challenge. emoticon

    Just 2 things I want to share, and maybe you're already familiar with both but if not, check them out if you have time / inclination: the first is a book called "Shrink Yourself" by Gould, which can help address some of the things I mentioned in the 1st paragraph, and the second is an article I just read today on SP,
    /motivation_articles.asp?id=685 which may give you some ideas for a new approach - looking at it backwards, so to speak. As we all know on SP, 'knowing' and 'doing' are sometimes in separate universes.

    Best to you!!! I know you can get this!!! emoticon
    2352 days ago
  • MIQUEY73
    Wow! 9 miles is pretty impressive to me. You'll figure out the right balance and get back to feeling good again. I have faith in you! emoticon
    2352 days ago
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