So you had a bad day…
UGH! I can already feel the roughness of the Holidays upon me… It starts with Halloween Candy, moves to a huge Thanksgiving feast and then to Christmas Dinner. The overeating, the chocolate, the endless amounts of sweets. I am not looking forward to the next two months. This is the hardest time of year for me… I want to rest a little and get my body ready for a full training schedule for next year, but I know I’m going to be running away from the kitchen… The years of overeating, the habit of buying this and that and consuming it without thought always catches up to me. No matter how hard I try to stay away, food always seems to end up in my mouth.
I know I can’t out exercise a bad diet, believe me, I’ve tried my hardest! And I realize I’m not the best at advice when it comes to eating. I know I strongly dislike talking about eating, but I want you to know even though I’ve gone through all the changes I’ve gone through, it is still a daily battle between me and the fridge. I fight every instinct to go to the kitchen over and over again. Every single time I pass the candy bowl at work, I have ton consciously tell myself NO to a piece of candy. When I sit down for a holiday meal with my family, I will have to take my salsa bowl with me so I can control my portions.
I’m prepping for a rough 60 days mentally. I have no problem running and working out every single day to work off the food I eat, but I have done so well the last couple months that I don’t want to set myself back just because of a couple really bad days. Over eating ham and turkey, crushing through bags of candy and chocolate, and drinking booze are all things I know I have to avoid in the next couple months. My goal isn’t to cut everything out. My goal is to control what I eat, eat it in portions that make sense and to keep the progress I’ve made in the kitchen so I’m not fighting against myself when it comes to training for Leadville.
So what happens when you have a bad day? Well, you get over it. I used to beat myself up, physically and mentally. I would obsess over the scale, what I ate, how much I ate and I would be so mad at myself for days until I felt that I worked off all the food I ate. Then I started getting to the point where I was tired of setting myself up for failure and started minimizing my bad days. I worked to win 4 days a week, then to 5 and 6. It’s very rare when I win all 7 days in a week, but when it does happen I get really excited! When I see my biggest success, I win 5-6 times a week and the couple days I do miss, I miss by a little here and there. By missing just a little a couple times a week, I don’t feel as bad because it is pretty minimal and I feel I can get back on track pretty quick.
It’s the days that I overeat everything I can find. The days that I can’t stay out of the peanut butter, I find a hidden candy stash in the house, someone brings treats to work and for some reason I just don’t think about how much I ate until it’s too late…
So what’s my point? (I guess I could have probably summed this up in 100 words or less…)
- You’re going to have bad days… Minimize the damage and get over it quickly. The more you dwell on it, the more it is going to come back to bite you later.
- Your fork is more important than exercise. I can run and run and run and if I’m not 100% in the kitchen, I’m worthless in my running shoes…
- Know your weaknesses and find a way to control them. Some people can portion control their weaknesses. That’s GREAT! If you can control them, do it! I cannot. I have to avoid whenever possible. I know I can’t have candy in the house. I know I can’t even have a smile bite of doughnuts when they are at work on Fridays. I know if I don’t have an apple at my desk at 4 pm, I am most likely going to crush the candy bowl in the afternoon… If you’re having a hard time, start a food journal and write everything down and when you eat it. Nothing fancy, but learn from your own habits. I bet you’re amazed at everything you eat without realizing it.
- Get rid of the calorie drinks! Soda, coffee creamer, high amounts of alcohol, juices, etc. You’d be surprised at how fast these calories add up and how much sugar is in them.
- Listen to your body. If you’re full, stop eating. If you’re not hungry, don’t grab for the cookie jar, watch how much you’re snacking “just because it’s there”. I have problems with all three and when I find myself struggling with these, I go straight back to my journal and start logging.
If you have a bad day, get over it, but don’t forget that feeling. When you measure your goals and action, don’t forget that YOU are the only person in control of what goes it your mouth. No one is forcing you to eat, but they won’t stop tempting you. Sadly, I actually think people tempt me just to see if I’ll break… And yeah I’ll break. Will power only goes so far. Remember that people don’t have your goals in mind, so you better have your goals top of mind, ALL the time. Be ready, stay strong and focused. You will weather the storm of social norms if your desire and goals are strong enough.
And one last thing- don’t wait until you set a New Year’s Resolution to go after what you want. If you really want something, take action NOW! Resolutions are just a bull shit excuse for giving up on yourself… Be the example, not the norm…
Run Epic my Friends!