Someone recently asked me, “What do you eat?”, in regard to running and staying fit. It was actually a tough question to answer. To be honest, I still struggle with my diet. Fortunately my running and physical activity keeps the weight off, but I would like to trim a few pounds off to help with my running speed. 

Ten years ago, if someone asked what I eat, the answer would have been “EVERYTHING. And hand me that beer to wash it down. Nom nom nom.” Well, it really wasn’t to that degree, but my diet was pretty lousy. I was self-employed and ate lunch out nearly every day. Add in that my office was close to a coffee shop that had really good pastries. And just down the street was a bar I frequently hit for “just a couple beers” before heading home. Come on … it was happy hour! My daily caloric intake was pretty high. Another factor that goes hand-in-hand with self-employment is stress. When I am stressed I eat. And drink. And get fat.

I went from a 160 pound high school basketball player to a 215 pound slob. And I am not proud of it. My problem was moderation. It still is. When I do something, it is usually to excess. And that is a bad thing when the activity in question is detrimental to my well being.

How have I dealt with this?

I try my best to make sure that I make good choices. When I have that spoon in my hand and the ice cream carton sitting in front of me, I have to ask myself, “Do I really need that tonight before bed?”

“Do I really need another slice of pizza?”

“Why am I on my third spoonful of Nutella?” (Admit it. You do it.)

“Why not save some of that wine for tomorrow’s dinner?”

“Do I really need to buy another new watch?”

“Do I need more fish in that tank?”

“How many jelly beans can I fit in my mouth at once?”

“Hot wings or BLAZING wings?”

“Should I sign up for another marathon?”

“New running shoes? But they’re on sale!”

See? Moderation is a problem for me. I struggle with it on a daily basis.

Fortunately my choices have been better. Not perfect, but better.

So, back to the question: What do I eat now?



Finding time to prepare healthy meals is difficult with work and sports in the evenings. It takes some teamwork between my wife (the shopper) and me (the cook/grill master) to plan our week worth of dinners. My work is only a mile from home, so I can run home and not to a restaurant on my lunch break.

I try and avoid fried food. Eating out in general is reserved for weekends. I make an effort to eat healthy foods like chicken, salmon, fruits and veggies. Limit snacking. Back away from the jelly beans. With Connor’s sports in the evening, there is no time to visit the pub. Or for that matter, grabbing a beer with dinner usually is not a great idea because I usually have to run soon after dinner. That beer-slosh in the gut is no fun on a run.

Heck, three beers and I am feeling buzzed anymore. I’m a lightweight (literally).

Going forward, I plan on dropping 5-10 pounds to see if it helps with my running. It will just take some willpower and focus. At least my active lifestyle will help combat the unavoidable pitfalls like birthdays, holidays, vacations, taking the boys out for ice cream, afternoons at the vineyard, BBQ’s, Jimmy John’s subs,  THOSE DAMN JELLY BEANS …

I’m going for a run.