Fearing your food. Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? But in reality, how realistic is it? And if you don't fear your food, should you? It starts to stress you out when you're unprepared. It's used as a reward when you are "good". But makes you feel guilty when you over do it. It fuels your body to be strong. But can break you down and cause diseases like cancer. At the end of the day, you take off your clothes and your food is right on top of you. Right there. It can depict how you feel, how you react and how you view yourself. Am I even good enough?
Your relationship with your food is like a metaphor for your life. I love the quote "the way you do anything is the way you do everything". And I think it is so true. It relates to much more than food. How do you do things? What is spinning around in your head when your thoughts are not consumed by the daily tasks of work? The rushing around, the anxiety, the need to be around people. Or the need to be independent. What is it that has control of you?
This past weekend I ran my first half marathon. I dropped the barbell for a while and started to increase my mileage. One of the first things that ran through my head (no pun intended) was how am I going to eat for this? I was genuinely fearful of how I was going to fuel my body. How I was going to transition from my intermittent fasting, low carb diet to one that would support my intense metabolic conditioning. I was not afraid of the strenuous mileage, wear and tear on my body or actually finishing the race, but rather how I would let go of my control. With my food. Of which I felt so comfortable with at the moment. I had it all in order. On schedule and available when I wanted it. My healthy options and my favorite preemptive cheats.
I did pretty well with controlling it all. I would do a short run once a week with my normal diet. And then the days of my long runs I would have coffee and 2 hard boiled eggs. I survived the runs and was happy with my accomplishments of finishing what I wanted. I didn't want to Supplement a shit ton of carbs for endurance training like everyone else. I wanted to try something that I felt comfortable with. That I knew. That my alternative research said was correct. But was I really doing it for that? Or was I afraid of what would happen if I added in more carbs? Was I afraid of my food?
Race day came on Sunday. Carb up the night before the articles said. I made my friend stop at Walgreens so I could buy a bar of 90% dark chocolate the night before. I carbed up, by eating one little square. The next morning was game day. Okay. Wow. It's really here. I'm going to run 13.1 miles. Probably not a good idea if I change my food now even though reality is sinking in of how long I will be pushing my body. So I ate 2 hard boiled eggs and coffee with almond milk. With two pieces of sugar free gum in my pocket, I was ready to go. Can I really do this with less than 200 calories in my system? I had a banana In my purse. So I grabbed it just in case. I started the race and physically ran with the banana clenched in my fist for the first 9 miles. Which actually is an ingenuous way to run if you haven't tried it. The perfect fuel if you need it, all wrapped up while giving you something to squeeze when you feel like giving up.
I felt amazing. I was pretty scared but excited. I felt free and it was refreshing to feel kind of afraid. It made me feel alive. Until mile 9. Where I started to feel dead. The hills, my hips, the road. I "broke down" and unpeeled the banana. I ate an inch. I wanted to walk SO bad. So I did and actually thought I wanted to quit. For two minutes. And then asked myself, do I want to walk the next 4 miles? Then started running again. Ate another 2 inches of the banana. And at mile 11 I felt the high and was so psyched to finish it. And I did. 2:02.
So awesome. Such an incredibly, unbelievable feeling. Bucket list- check.
But would you believe me if I said I felt guilty? When I took that first bite of banana?
This particular story ends well. My race time was on point with my goal. But looking back on my treatment of myself makes me think hard.
How many people are letting something take control of them to the point where it could potentially cause you to breakdown? Physically and emotionally. A banana. That was mine. On Sunday. What's yours?
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