Sunday, November 10, 2013

Over the years as I lost over 150 pounds, one of the crutches I relied on was running.  I have realized that I used running to cover up some of my bad eating habits.  I have always said, I never at any time ate perfect.  I would eat sweets here and there, eat pizza on weekends and sometimes instead of a cheat meal it was a cheat weekend.  The weight would still drop because I made up for it on the road while running or in the gym exercising.


I came across the title of this blog from something Chrissie Wellington realized in her book "A Life Without Limits" when she discussed her awakening from her eating disorder.

When I read that, I also realized that in a way I was running to eat (or cheat).  Now my eating has been pretty good over the last 6-8 years as I lost and maintained my weight, but the eating was never close to perfect. 

So when did I realize the eating patterns needed some fine tuning?

When injuries kept returning. 
If you are eating bad during these layoffs, the pounds creep back on.  Or when life gets in the way and you are not able to run/exercise as much but you are still not eating "good", the pounds will sneak up on you...quickly.

I see it all the time on social media people saying stuff like, "I run to eat cake."  "I run to eat ice cream."  "I run to drink beer."  So on and so forth. 

Now, I am not saying that you never can eat or drink that stuff.  However, my questions are...if you have that mental approach, are you really gaining anything in life?  How long can you get away with it?

You definitely still have not eliminated a bad eating habit.  You still have your "sugar addiction".  So why not change your approach and eat healthy so you can consistently run and feel better?  How about rewarding your body with good food? That is what I have done recently.


Eat Better and See Results

Since the middle of October I have begun to eat a LOT more veggies and fruits as I was finally recovering from my injury and getting ready to consistently run again.  If you follow me on Google+ you will see a lot of the foods I eat.  The goal for me was to eat as clean as possible.  

With that, I almost elminated most "cheat treats" especially if the food or drink had added sugar.  I have decided I will only consume them for special family events, holidays or maybe once a month instead of once or twice a week.  I have also greatly reduced grains and dairy.  The results? 

In about a month, I dropped 12 pounds.  Now most of that loss was from what I gained due to my summer running injury, but it was still nice to see the pounds go down and most of all I am feeling great everyday and recovering from my runs and cycle sessions much quicker.

However, the best benefit of the new way to eat was that my "temptation" to snack late at night, especially sweet items, has been eliminated. 

I no longer have a desire to eat the sugary stuff because my body is not getting a "taste" of sweets every 6-7 days.  For now, it is not addicted to sugar.  (I even went this Halloween without eating one piece of candy and I was not even tempted by it either.)  The body now wants real food.  The sweetness from that is enough to wipe away any desire to eat the "bad stuff".

Think about it...If you are having sweets every night or every few days, that taste and desire will always be there.  Your body wants what it is given.  In most cases, it has been adapted and trained to eat sugar.  Keep giving it that stuff, it will keep taking it. 

Last week I just finished reading a book called, "Fitness Confidential" by Vinnie Tortorich.  At the end I realized what his simple philosophy on nutrition to his clients and followers is what I have been doing the last month on my own...No Sugar, No Grains.  You can eat everything else you want.

Advice
Eat real food.  Start eating foods that are full of  nutrients, vitamins, etc to make your body stronger for the present and the future.  Stop polluting your body with chemicals and ingredients that may be causing harm and making your body "weaker".

Questions to ask yourself before you eat/drink something:

  • Is this food getting me closer or further away from my goal(s)?
  • Is this food good for me?  What are the benefits?
  • How many unnatural ingredients does this product have?
  • Is this food considered "clean eating"?
  • Will I regret eating this food later on? 
  • If it is a "cheat food", does it taste REALLY good?  Is it worth it?
Will you always have to ask yourself these questions?  No.  Because sooner or later you will be trained to only eat good stuff so your food will always be good.

Just be mindful of what you are eating, instead of being passive.
 
So I ask you now...Are you eating to run/exercise or are you running/exercising to eat?
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Next week: A update on the progress of my Maffetone training after 1 month.

By: Fred Lechuga
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By: Fred Lechuga
 

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