What You Deserve

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 love cake. I love frosting. Thus, I love cupcakes. 

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.

Trust me, eating like crap does NOT lead to the Emerald Palace.

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!

Steel cut oats and yogurt with fresh berries? Nope. French toast and turkey sausage. Win some, lose some.

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.

I obviously have no problem celebrating after my workouts. Nope, not one bit.


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.

10 thoughts on “What You Deserve

  1. Great post! My favorite way of thinking about it is with a quote I read on Tumblr one day.

    “Do not reward yourself with food. You are not a dog.”

    I do want a cupcake now though…

  2. Love this post! I have fallen into the same trap. It’s an endless cycle. after running your race you can’t possibly keep up the miles and you become used to the extra calories. At that point the habit can be tough to break.

  3. Hm… so I can’t say I reward myself with food – I work out because I like to work out. However, I have rationalized a cupcake with the notion that I carved out a little more caloric space with that 20-mile run… probably not much better, huh?

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