I don’t believe in simultaneously running and attempting to lose weight. I personally believe it’s a very unhealthy combination, as I outlined here several months ago.
However, that doesn’t change the fact that I feel a whole lot better about life when I’m not eating like a moron. The accepted sentiment with regard to eating and training is as follows:
“Garbage in, Garbage out.”
In other words, it’s pretty difficult to turn in decent workouts when you’re fueling your body with nothing but Doritos and Twinkies.
My eating habits are never that terrible, but I admit that when I’m not in active training for something I tend to ease up. If I want a cheeseburger, I eat a cheeseburger. If I want to hit up the Pizza Hut lunch buffet multiple times in the same week, there’s nothing stopping me. And truly, that doesn’t change if I am in training mode. There is always room for a cheeseburger – it just takes a little more planning to fit it in around workouts in order to prevent a mid-run rebellion.
But there comes a point in every training cycle that I take a look at the things I eat, single out those items that are truly garbage (read: no nutritional value whatsoever) and cut them out cold-turkey. I have been quite successful in my quest to quit soda, one of my initial goals when I started this blog in January. I have every intention of making that change permanent. French Fries and I have a troubled relationship (especially those of the curly or waffle variety) and they are usually quick to re-enter my life at the close of a training season. But as of last weekend, I am back on the French-Fry-Free Wagon. See ya later, suckas!
Evaluating the remainder of my diet depends on your definition of garbage. I will firmly stand behind the nutritional merits of my weekly steak (protein!) and regular indulgence in pizza (runners need carbs! And…uhh…cheese has calcium…) I see no fault in those competitive runners who eat healthy foods all the time (unless they are doing it with the mentality that cutting weight = faster running, at which point I tread very carefully.) I just can’t function that way, and couldn’t even when I was training much more seriously than I am now. Running is not my life. It fits into it quite nicely, but my life is for living. And for me, living involves eating something deliciously unhealthy once in awhile.
Unless we’re talking about french fries. We’re through.
Do your eating habits change based on your training schedule?