I hear it all the time. People say it to me all the time.
“You ran X miles, you deserve to have that cupcake.”
No. No, I don’t.
I hate the idea that running has become a means to and end regarding eating and drinking. We so often overeat during our training that we un-do a lot of the good effects that running has on our bodies.
I do enjoy eating delicious meals and desserts. But looking at food as a reward is like jumping on and sprinting down the Yellow Brick Road to Disordered Eating.
Food is fuel.
Plain and simple. Food can, AND SHOULD, be delicious and nutritious. Your diet should be built around your body’s needs and the performance level your are pushing it to achieve. Anyone who says healthy food doesn’t taste good has no imagination and needs to take a cooking class tout de suite.
If I want a cupcake I don’t say, “I deserve a cupcake.” I say, “I want a cupcake.” I take ownership of the action so that it doesn’t become a habit.
I am sensitive about the food I eat because it’s so ridiculously limited. Ridiculous that the very foods which make my body healthier are exactly the ones I have to avoid. Yet another fun aspect of IBD. I miss salads. And raw green beans. And apples. And nuts with raisins and just a little bit of chocolate–oooooooo, TRAIL MIX!
Here’s the thing. After every workout you deserve to feel awesome about what you accomplished. You deserve to strut a little taller in your skinny jeans knowing you worked hard to get into them. You deserve to admire your athletic physique in the mirror just a little bit longer. You deserve a high-five from someone who knows how hard it is to get ‘er done.
You deserve to look exactly the way you want to look and feel good about it.
And rewarding yourself with food after every workout is NOT going to get you there.
Tell me, do you struggle with regarding food as fuel? How do you get around it or avoid falling into the trap of food as fun? Share your story and ideas here with your fellow runners/athetes!
Now go out and run.