Thursday, February 19, 2009

Of Running and Stress Eating ...

... or not eating, as tends often to be my case.

A lot of people tend to eat when they're stressed. They turn to sugars and fats and all those delicious yet bad-for-you foods that you generally try to avoid when you're not stressed out to the point of cracking.

Brandon says he's like this. I can be, but generally when I'm sick.

I started noticing in college that my eating habits went through phases - I either ate everything in sight or nothing. I almost always managed to eat breakfast (my favorite meal of the day that rarely gets thrown by the wayside), but the rest of the day could be a crapshoot on what I ate or how much I ate.

Basically, I like food, but food and I don't tend to have the best relationship. I know I need to eat. I need to eat to live. But, it gets hard, when NOTHING, even things I ADORE look appetizing (this happens more than i'd like to admit) and the things I do end up trying to eat make me feel nauseous, whether in actuality or because I imagine it (i'm not ruling out the possibility). I haven't given up food completely, though God knows I've thought about it more times than I can count (i mainly don't because if i don't eat, i will pass out. almost happened at work once - ran late, hadn't eaten in 16 hours ... yeeeeahhh ...).

In any case, to get back on track here, during times of immense stress that depresses me (i should add that clarification), I tend to not want to eat. I'll eat breakfast for sure ... but after that? I eat only because my body tells me to eat. "Bitch, you better be getting some food in you before you pass out," is how I imagine my brain/stomach operate.

It doesn't also help when dinner is something I don't particularly care for anyway and there's not another viable, healthy, quick option for me to substitute. A girl can only eat packages of beef ramen noodles for dinner so often, man.

I've been going through this lately due to some external things happening within my family (damned economy is all i'm sayin') and part of this, I'm sure, has killed my motivation to work out. It probably makes for a vicious cycle: stress = not hungry = no motivation to work out = no activity = less need for food = more not being hungry et cetera, et cetera.

So it's a surprise that I managed so much at the gym late(r) last night with how little I ate yesterday, especially considering that except for a Wee Brie (i love you president cheeses) at "dinner," the last protein I had consumed before that was around five hours prior (typically i need egg or animal protein to get me through - cheese/milk/dairy typically doesn't cut it for me).

It was a similar thing today. I ate breakfast at around 10am (mmm, gooey green apple pancakes) - a breakfast that didn't have protein save for the coffee milk I drank. Despite that, I managed a 1.56 mile run on it a little after 2pm ... and didn't eat again until dinner an hour ago at 7:15pm. I ate and wondered why I was hungry. Oh right ... that whole not eating thing in nine hours.

But when I'm stressed and/or busy (stupid column), it happens.

Speaking of that run ... 1.56 miles in 15:42 and a 10:03 mile. Boo. I was going to do a two mile loop, but it was hella windy out so I scratched that idea and went for the 1.35 mile loop that I typically do. However, as I was nearing the turn-off for home, Rodney Atkins' "If You're Going Through Hell (Keep Going)" came on and I was feeling awesome, so I went down to the next turn-off to go up the hill and curl back into home the way I left.

Bad idea. Soon after I turned the corner and started up Timberline (the crappy, stupid hill), Rodney went away and on came Tina Turner singing about "The Best." I wanted to walk SO BADLY, but I didn't. I finished and proceeded to hack up a crapton of mucus.

Needless to say, Tina got booted off the running playlist as soon as I went back upstairs.



For the curious, I discovered the song junior year in college. Our hockey coach would put it on right before a game, close the lights and leave us to listen to the song and think about what we wanted our performances to be ... or something. Needless to say, after a few months (or a few weeks; i can't remember), we all started mocking the song, giggling when it came on and eventually singing it in ridiculously high-pitched falsettos as soon as she left the locker room. As much as I ridiculed that damn song, however, I eventually grew to like it and downloaded it. Yep. Fun for driving or dancing along to around the house, but for running, it sucks.

1 comment:

Dr. J said...

Air popped popcorn has been a fitness saver for me! I can munch away and the calorie count still stays pretty manageable.