I had this dessert over the weekend which you may have seen if you follow me on instagram.
I am often asked if I RUN to EAT my favorite desserts, how I plan my miles around what I feel like eating and, this week especially, will I cut my calories since it’s taper time.
I can’t speak for all runners but if I am speaking for myself, my response is…
I do not run so that I can eat.
For sure everything tastes that much better after a good workout, a long run and most certainly a race. If we look at it from that perspective, yes, running hard so I can better taste and appreciate my food is a given.
But running so I can eat in order to not gain weight? Nah, that’s not why I run.
Eating dessert because I can just run it off in the morning? Nah, that’s not why I eat.
I have been a dessert lover all my life. Even when I dealt with amenorrhea, dessert was never what was lacking in my diet.
No matter the amount of miles I run, I enjoy a good, overloaded with chocolate dessert when I want it but I actually don’t want it or eat it every single day.
I think because I never deny my true cravings, I am more in touch with my appetite and what it is I want to eat, never feeling restricted. Nothing is off limits therefore I don’t feel denied.
Running a whole lot will certainly burn calories and give you some wiggle room in terms of eating more BUT —
You Can’t Out Run A Bad Diet.
You have heard this phrase before, right?
While I don’t agree with labeling foods good or bad, I also don’t believe in using running or any exercise regimen strictly to allow yourself to indulge under the assumption that you can burn it all off (you can’t by the way, it doesn’t work like that).
As you know by now, what I eat on a regular basis is plant-focused, carb-centered, meatless and pretty clean. I balance it all nicely with my love of dessert but overall, I fuel my body with nutrient dense foods.
I do not count calories in or calories out, I pay attention to nutrients instead. It took time over the years to understand this concept and switch from caring about calories to caring about the nutrients and quality of food.
I view food in terms of how it will benefit me. How what I am about to consume will make me feel, how it will help or hinder my ability to run.
My mindset is not on dieting. It’s not on burning off what I take in or about tapering my diet to fit my mileage in order to stay slim.
The truth is, I don’t know what I weigh so how would I even receive an accurate calorie count on the treadmill?
Maybe I am making this whole diet and exercise thing sound simple but really, it can be that simple. I have learned what foods are both enjoyable and nutritious, I don’t rely on packaged snacks and I choose fresh fruits and vegetables over processed foods.
Keyword right there, CHOOSE. We all have the right to choose what we eat and it’s what we do with our choices on a consistent basis that count. Not one meal, not one dessert, not a hungry day, your week’s vacation and certainly not one taper week.
Am I a perfect eater? I don’t even know what a perfect eater means.
All I know is that I like the way I feel after eating freshly prepared unprocessed food. I do not want greasy foods (okay except some onion rings) but I also know how to dine out and enjoy myself and yes, sometimes, I want chocolate and cake and cookies therefore I have some, satisfy my soul and move on.
So much is out there on dieting and quick fix approaches which all appear so restricting and limiting, it seems like torture. Same applies to those fitness programs which focus solely on the calorie burn rather than what exercise does for us overall.
I do understand that exercise can be an effective weight loss tool, just like dieting, and I do know that all of my miles combined with what I eat must keep my size in check, it’s just that I wish more people were able to figure out how to switch away from the dieting mindset in relation to their exercise program and enjoy the way fitness (running!) makes them feel.
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Race weather update — It’s pretty nasty here but Saturday is looking to be the drier day of the next five days!!
Are your cravings for sweet or salty foods?
Are you a calorie counter or nutrient counter, or both?
Who else is racing this weekend?!