Garbage Out

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? 

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About stillarunner

I used to run. Some days, I even ran fast. Then I got a job. And met a boy. And bought a house. And rescued a dog. And rescued another dog. And went back to school. And created human life. I might not run every day, or even every week. There’s a good possibility that I will never be fast again. But I’m still a runner.
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4 Responses to Garbage Out

  1. Garbage in, Garbage out is one of the philosophies that I live my life by. I am on a long-term training regime to get myself from obese to peak conditioning. I have just finished the major fat-loss phase. I like a bit of junk food and I found that rather than cut it out, it was more effective for me to schedule it i.e. have one day per week where I could enjoy some junk food but the rest of the week must be strict.

    It is about finding what works for you.

    Great post.

  2. d.a.r. says:

    I saw some of the most frail waif like swimmers that were phenomenal in the NCAA circuit. And also some of the most behemoth women that could really tear it up.

    I think as long as you are fueling enough and strong enough to pull (hold up) your body weight, more power to ya!

    And mmmm pizza hut buffet!

  3. Silvy says:

    Sarah,
    Soda and french fries are two of my biggest weak spots as well! It makes me feel a little better that you enjoy (or enjoyed :)) them because I consider you a very healthy person! I just wish I loved running as much as you!

  4. Joyce says:

    I’ve been blog surfing, and found my way here! When I read that you don’t believe in dieting and running/training at the same time, that totally hit home because I have the same outlook. One of my acquaintances a few months ago had asked me if I’d taken up marathon training to lose weight, and I’d said that’s one of the worst ideas I’d ever heard. I only run so that I can run, not to lose weight. For that to happen, I cut back on my exercise load so that I can better focus on my nutrition.

    High-fat foods are also my albatross, but they still have a place in my diet. 🙂 I shared a deep-fried Mars bar yesterday with my hubby, and I have no regrets doing so!

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