I have a weakness. Self control. I have every intention of eating healthy, but I continually find myself eating and drinking all kinds of stuff that is not good for me. I am not gaining weight, fortunately. My obsessive running takes care of that. But I repeatedly consume foods that make me feel bad afterwards.
Greasy potato chips and dip.
Peanut butter by the spoonful.
A big plate of nachos.
#$@&%*!ing jelly beans.
A lot of my meals end with me wallowing in a state of guilt and nausea. Not good. But why do I crave these things to the point where the urge outweighs the consequences?
I have told myself over and over that I will start to eat healthy tomorrow. Well, “tomorrow” has been going on the past few years. Even as I type this, I know in a matter of minutes, we are having an ice cream social here at work. I love ice cream! And toppings! It’s for work; it would be rude not to partake. I already have a headache from the doughnut I had this morning. I will eat a bowl … or two .. and return to my desk high on sugar.
Excuse me while I step out for the social.
Yeah, vanilla ice cream, caramel syrup, hot fudge, peanuts, whipped cream. So good! But now I feel like crap.
How am I going to change this pattern?
First off, I am admitting I have a problem. That’s a good step, I hope.
I know I am not the only runner that fights these problems. Runners are always hungry. My friend, Nathan, who recently ran the Boston Marathon with me (finishing 15 minutes faster than me, but let’s not stroke his ego too much) also struggles with diet. From our conversation the other day:
Mine is simply a self control issue. I have been keeping track in a journal. Last week I ate 11 bagels. 2 a day at work. Just because they were there. That doesn’t include beer and crap I ate this weekend.
I think convenience is the key factor. When I go home at lunch time; a luxury I have with my office being a mile from my house; I have free reign of the pantry. I’ll have good intentions of having a healthy lunch. I’ll grab a yogurt, maybe make a sandwich, some grapes. Then I go get some chips. Then a cookie. Then 3 more cookies. Then a spoonful of peanut butter. A handful … who am I kidding … a bag full … of jelly beans. This happens all the time.
Then the rest of my day is spent feeling nauseous and guilty.
I need to be accountable for these poor decisions.
I love a good challenge. That’s probably why I keep signing up for things like marathons and 50 milers. So, I am going to challenge myself to work on eating healthier foods and cutting the garbage. And to stop grazing in the pantry at lunch.
Maybe I can challenge Nathan to some kind of nutrition challenge. I don’t want to call it a diet since I don’t care if I lose weight. I just want to feel better. Maybe I’ll find my abs. I know they are in there and strong, but I can’t see them. How about a “Shirt-off Show Down”, Nate?
Scratch that. Nobody wants to see that. We’ll think of something.
Now, I’m not going to go all vegetarian or vegan or anything like that. I am not giving up my occasional beers. I am going to take a look at what I consistently find myself eating and evaluate if it helps me or hurts me in the short and long term. I’ll try and keep a log or at least some type of update on here to see how it goes and maybe help other people who find themselves in the same guilty, nauseating cycle.
Feel free to post some nutrition tips in the comment section below.