I’m generally pretty good about eating, but I’ve been a little more lax with my diet since getting hurt. And I felt it tonight when I went to the gym for the first time in about three weeks. For lunch, I ate a hot dog and a slice of combo pizza, and I definitely felt it tonight. It’s not that I’m totally out of shape either–I’ve still been running or doing some sort of cardio, even if it’s not at the same intensity as before.
But it’s nothing new. At the beginning of my stint as an endurance athlete (if I can even call myself that), I was immature and learned through a lot of trial and error that I needed to be strategic about my eating to be competitive. Otherwise, I would hit the wall in the middle of a ride and waste even more time just dragging my butt back to my car. Or I would just feel nauseous.
It just takes a lot of discipline. And that certainly doesn’t come easy to me. Over the past few years, it’s taken a lot of small adjustments or nudges. It’s like deciding to tag on an extra loop around the block when going for run or taking the hill option on a bike ride. I slowly cut out certain foods out of my diet.
For a long time, my mom made me think that going to restaurant warranted eating unhealthfully. But years later, my sister told me that it was a choice I made. That I was paying them to put crap into my body. That resonated with me, and over time, I’ve learned to opt for healthier choices.
It’s not easy, and I’m not saying that people shouldn’t indulge themselves. I obviously did today. I’m far from perfect. But I’ve noticed that the training and slow changes to my diet have changed my physiology. I crave foods that are better for me. And a Roast Beef Au Jus is no longer a gateway food into cheesy chili fries. But knowing that I’m a far better eater does allow me to indulge in both a couple times a week.
Although tonight was a quick reminder of why I shouldn’t get off the wagon for too long.