Eating Healthy for Running and for Health Sake

“So are you running?”

Ummm. . . . No. Since I completed the Houston Marathon I feel like I have been asked that question more than usual or maybe I just feel guilty because I haven’t been running. Usually after I finish a major race, I take a break from running. I continue to run, but I am definitely not completing runs over an hour! After finishing this race, circumstances had put running on pause. For one, I was extremely sick for a week and then one knee decided it was going to hurt every time I did more than walk on it. So basically, I have been doing run/walks and going to Crossfit. Plus, there is a new goal on the horizon. It scares me a little, but I want to start eating healthier. The whole concept brings to mind standing on the edge of a diving board and glancing down at the water that seems very, very far way.

Now at this point my friends would be like “Pshhh, you are already healthy. The only thing you ever drink is water and Almond milk. You don’t eat McDs and you’re not into ice cream, fried chicken, or nachos with cheese.” Yeah, sure, but there are a gazillion other foods to be addicted to. Remember pizza, chips, chocolate, cookies and all those other beautifully delicious bread and pasta dishes? If eating such delicacies were a hobby, it would be definitely be mine.

Alas, my body frequently disagrees. While my mind is having a disco party, my body is probably wishing it could protest. So I am going to take baby steps to eating healthy. I am not exactly sure what that entails, but I do know that I need to portion control and I need to cut out some sugars and carbs. Man, just thinking about it seems like a sacrifice, but I am not getting any younger. I have the future to think about, particularly when it comes to running and being active. I don’t want my athletic activities to be limited because I lack energy or suffer injury because I was over indulging on donuts, Oreos, and, pizza.

Ironically, part of the reason I started running more was so I wouldn’t have to worry about what I ate as much. Throughout high school and part of college I had a very rocky relationship with food. Finally, one day I decided that food, the calories, and whatever other negative vibe went along with food I was going to essentially ignore. I was going to eat to fuel and enjoy. Forget calories. Forget diets. As long as my eating habits didn’t hurt my daily habits too much “Hakuna Matata” was my food motto.

Recently, I bragged to my Cross fit trainer about my nonchalant approach to food and how I hated diets. “Do even know what the definition of diet is?” he said. After I bungled up my answer, he replied “A diet is what you eat on a daily basis.”

Oh, okay then.

I thought about what he said, especially after I had a binge out week on sweets and breads which left me feeling less than great.

A change needed  to happen. I went to the doctor. This week I am limiting my sugar intake (Attempting to keep it as close to a daily 100 grams is an interesting challenge. Like I didn’t know that a little box of “healthy” juice had 22g of sugar.) Next, I hope to continue this, but in the coming weeks I am going to be look at some tasty (emphasize on tasty) substitutes for my favorite carbs. Baby steps. Plus,  I will be prepping meals and appropriate  snacks for late night cravings.

Of course, there are definitely going to be those days I treat myself! I am not going to go all Spartan! I plan to still eat good. Try new foods. My enjoyment of food (especially deserts, breads, and pastas) will probably never go away. In fact, there is this grilled cheese place in Dallas that I have been eyeing for quite some time, but if my body is a temple I should start taking better care of it.

As for running, of course I am participating in another marathon! I am now in the process of looking for one—this time one outside the state of Texas (hopefully). Plus, I want to bring someone along for the ride. Till next time. . .

Image result for eating healthy memes
Okay, I am not going into body building, but has it right.

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