Friday, February 19, 2010

On Nutrition (following a meal I'm not so proud of)

Thinking of food as fuel for my body has never really been my focus. I love food and eat a lot. Too much actually and I often indulge in my cravings. As I learn ways to manage my anxiety, I am more aware of the connection between food and my state of mind. I know that if I'm stressed or tired, I'll be craving unhealthy foods because they make me feel better instantly. But the more comfort food I eat, the more cravings I have. It's a vicious cycle which is very hard to break.

As I start on my running journey, I now have to take a look at food as my body's fuel. I know that making the right food choices will improve my endurance and performance, as well as my anxiety. Changing eating habits is going to be crucial and I am going to need to learn a lot more about which food in what quantities will give me the best nutrition to run the half-marathon. Jeff Galloway, a renowned running expert, advocates eating small meals every two hours to avoid hunger and maintain energy levels, rather than the traditional three meals per day. I like the idea and might give it a try.

I have actually noticed that I seem to be hungry all the time since I started running. My body seems to be giving me signs that it needs more regular refueling. I am craving carbs and tonight indulged in a veggie burger with fries and onion rings. Yikes...that's probably the nutritional equivalent of filling up a car with oil. Not the smartest decision.

So in the days ahead, in addition to my physical training and mental conditioning, I will need to put more energy into the nutritional choices I make. It will be interesting to see how my running improves. Not that I'll ever challenge Usain Bolt.

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