When it comes to what you eat (and/or drink), have you ever had a moment in your life when you realized, “I’ve got to make a change”?
What led you to that moment, and what changes did you make after realizing it? Were you able to stick with the change you wanted to make, or did you backslide back into old habits?
The latter is my biggest fault — I’m able to stick with a change for a while, but I tend (almost always) to fall back into my old bad habits. If you’ve been able to make a change, and make it stick, I’d love to hear how you’ve done it. — Terrell
I don't have a lot to add to all the advice and experiences given except to say that I really believe that we need to change how we look at healthy eating from "what will make me lose weight," to "what does my body need to be optimally healthy." Of course it is true that being overweight is unhealthy, but that should not be the focus.
I've talked about my diet in a previous post several months ago. Despite grinding hard in workouts and following a training plan to a T I still wasn't really seeing results and I felt heavy and sluggish on most of my runs. So I had to take a long hard look at myself and my diet. I realized that I could no longer outrun my less than stellar diet. I started with cutting out alcohol and watching how much added sugar was going into my belly. I was that annoying person at the grocery store reading every label. I followed a loose version of Whole 30 but didn't completely deprive myself because I need fuel in order to have quality runs and workouts. I also majorly increased my water uptake to about 100 oz of water a day (I'm 5'6; NOW 135 lbs. When I started my weight loss quest I was 149 which is the heaviest I've ever been). Between giving up sugar as much as humanly possible and drinking water my body started to naturally detox. I could feel the difference in my running within a week. A month later the times started to drop. Weight loss was slow initially: about 1.5 - 2lbs a week. That was frustrating BUT I focused on how much better I felt on my runs. My chronically tight hamstrings were less tight. I think the fact that I wasn't forcing my body to carry that extra weight was key. The first 10 days of my clean(er) eating was tough: your body 100% goes through withdrawls when you stop giving it sugar. Sugar really is like a drug! But after that 10 day mark it gets easier. That's my advice to people: just give it 10 days, then you'll see. We're runners and we have a higher pain tolerance and better discipline than the average bear...we can do this!!!!
I also highly recommend Shalane Flanagan's cookbook series "Run Fast, Eat Slow." Not only does she offer great recipe ideas to fuel runners but she writes about the foods that runners need. Its extremely helpful for high school and young female atheletes to see that you don't need to starve yourself to be fast. She considers good quality butter a 'super food.' Who can argue with that?!
Trust me: once you start feeling better on your runs, that will help you maintain your good eating. You can still allow yourself to occasionally eat the 'bad things' that you love as long as you get more of the good things ONCE you hit your goal weight.
Even with a medical diagnosis that required drastic change (CSID), I struggle. It’s not you!!!! This kind of change is HARD.
As I have discussed previously, I lost 100 pounds in 2020 and I am still there. I did so because I had decided that my retirement goal would be to live as many years in retirement as I worked for the employer I had retired from. (32). When I hit 290 and doctors wanted daily meds for about everything, it was enough. I started by learning food was fuel and not my emotional support system. I have to give FITBIT a lot of credit here because for all it's issues it can give you a good idea on how many calories are in what you have eaten and more importantly where your macros stand. (Proteins, Fats, Carbs)
Food is not evil and your favorite foods are more like your friends. It's nice to have them visit but you don't want them moving in. Guilt for eating something you like is unnecessary and unhelpful, but experimenting with alternatives can lead to new "friends" that are more efficient fuels. How you use that fuel is what brings the body into balance. The goal is not a number on a scale but how you feel about yourself and ultimately how you perform in whatever efforts you undertake.
This is a great question and something that has been on my mind lately. I can’t say I had a turning point yet (too soon) but I’ve started eating more moderately since we discovered a day after last thanksgiving weekend that my husband had several blocks in his arteries and needed a quintuple bypass surgery two weeks later - and he is the healthy one, does not eat any sugar or meat, super slim and plays regular squash (blame genes). In contrast I always used my running as an excuse to double down on all kinds of sugary stuff. Long story short - he has done extremely well after the surgery and even back to playing squash, and I have become a bit more careful about what and how much I eat. No major change but passing on that extra helping or not eating more than one chocolate bar. And it has given benefits - I run somewhat faster and I’ve lost some 15 pounds since last TG, close to what my weight was before kids came along. Question is whether old habits will eventually prevail.. it’s a huge possibility given the quick fix take outs when there is too much going on .. but I keep reminding myself how much better I feel now compared to the last 10 years
I registered for a triathlon and thought riding a bike and the other events will be better if I lose some weight so my wife and I are using the health plan optavia to reduce carbs and sugars, however it is difficult. I would burn a lot of calories however I couldn't drop lbs due to habits of eating before bed, eating too much sugar etc. We are gradually losing lbs and changing our habits.
Just want to thank everyone for their comments so inspiring!!!
No epiphanies, I eat if I'm hungry, don't bother when I'm not. I prefer poor man's food which translates to rice, beans and vegetables--mostly with Mexican flavors and spices. Sugar does not exist, little salt. Fresh spices are king. We use some dairy--little at that, no eggs. One has to respect the body. It is the only place to live this lifetime. :)
The one word that my wife and I haven't talked about for the last 10 years, is DIET! What to eat and how much. It's everywhere... what diet works and which one doesn't... Even with runners... If I can just lose those last few pounds I'll cut a minute off my times... My wife was never a big meat eater.. excluding BBQ Ribs... when she went to a plant based life style I figured it was just a phase, it wasn't. Now after 10 plus years, it's our life style. I still eat meat on and off but I have to be the one to cook it, she won't. At first the choices out there sucked... Most items tasted awful, even smothered in salsa or other toppings.. Now what's out there rivals the meat products and the choices are endless and they no longer taste like cardboard, though I still hate Tofu in its uncooked state... Do I feel better and are my times as good as they were in my 30's? Not a chance... I don't feel as bloated after a meal and we don't seem to eat as much as we used to...We stir fry a lot and cook most veggie burgers on the grill...Will I ever give up meat? No! I like a real burger once in a while and still crave chicken wings and a beer watching a sports event... but, after my yearly physicals, I'm told I'm healthy and to just keep doing what I'm doing...
I have PCOS, which after I was diagnosed with it had caused me to gain 10 lbs in only one month, and it became worse from there. Several years later, I had given up. I was out of shape, and about 40 lbs overweight. Two of my close friends who are experienced thru-hikers asked if I would like to go to France with them and hike through the midi-Pyrenees. For some reason, I said yes, although I was not physically trained to go. I trained for three months and went, but continuously fell behind the others, sometimes by nearly a half hour. The epiphany moment came when they were so far ahead of me that I started to become lost, went out onto a road, and had to ask a local to give me a ride to the next point on the map. That was the pivotal moment when I decided that I would never, EVER let that happen to me again. That started the journey toward taking my health and wellness more seriously and getting the PCOS under control. I lost 40 lbs, and began running.
What finally helped me to lose the "final 10" that so many speak about, it a keto/flex, low carb diet. During marathon training peaks, I eat carbs again, but now for instance post-marathon, I have scaled way back until the next training cycle. It does take a lot of will sometimes not to slip into old habits, especially when very tired, or in a party or holiday setting where it's easier to say "oh, it's just this once" sort of thing. But, if I'm honest with myself, I know that I always feel better, and my body is happier, with low carbs, and no sugar. It's a continuous process, and it isn't always easy. Often in the mornings after meditation I offer gratitude for a strong body that can do so many things, and run races, and that can help to put myself in the right frame of mind to carry that gratitude into nourishing my body throughout the day in a way that is kind to it.
Sorry, long post. :)
I have no idea what to eat. It’s the cause of daily anxiety. With running specifically, I know by now that I run best when I eat nothing at all. That’s good for 15-20 miles, but beyond that I don’t have a clue. And if anything, I think I’ve used running as an excuse to eat badly, both during and between.
Yes! I’m the same .. my biggest downfall is cheeseburgers and fries and beer hahaha but when the “lockdowns” came I had to give up “luxuries”….I found a 30 day challenge which listed about 12 things not to eat and I’ve followed it pretty close and along with
“intermittent” fasting have lost 60 pounds…it was surprising how much money I saved from not buying these things and how much weight I lost…after years trying to get rid of “menopause” obesity to back into a size 8 has changed my life … along with running which is my medicine I am getting back to “myself” again … at age 70 it has made me feel young
I answered this on the last discussion. 😁 I won’t bore you with the details, but I feel really good now and my yearly blood work is evidence! Healthy & happy!!!
Nearly 10 years ago my husband and I watched Forks Over Knives and went whole food plant-based immediately. I've been able to stick with it because of how much better I feel and how my health numbers have changed for the better. To help with motivation I watch other great documentaries like The Game Changers and that also helps me stay on track. I don't miss meat or dairy one bit. I don't focus on what I no longer choose to eat, instead I focus on all of the goodness that I do choose to fuel my body with. Essentially it's a bit of a different mindset. My husband flexes and sometimes will eat meat or dairy if he has a crave, which seems to work great for him.
I have eaten "clean" no added sugar and as many whole foods as possible since December. lowered my cholestrol from 333 to 177!! But my A1c went from 6.3 in December, went DOWN 3 months later to 5.7 (almost normal range) but went up 2 months later this week :-( I am back at 6.1 now which is the higher end of prediabetic. I don't want to give up carbs, especially as an endurance runner, i won't take meds at this point, but the dr won't even talk to me about diet, just meds! and I don't feel she has an understanding of athletic needs anyway. I don't feel "keto" "no carbs" is good for an athlete, but I don't know what to do. I have problems hitting my protein in a "normal healthy" diet, I can't imagine reducing carbs to 20 or 30g per day! and I don't want to give up fruit and whole grains. Any advice for runners who are prediabetic? or WHERE to turn for advice, good medical advice, etc.?
Motivation, Terrell. That’s what always makes a difference in my changes. Otherwise, it’s like a New Year’s resolution, with steam that fizzles out. Motivation that gushes through you because of a new realization. Something that hits you between the eyes. Something strong. Something more than the look in the mirror or the numbers on the scale. With me, several times in my life, it was when I discovered something that contradicted what I had always known or had grown up with—double-checked the new info and found THAT to be true instead. That made me mad and determined. Then I made the change. Always the case, and it stuck for the most part, like 92%. One such change was 42 years ago, and that’s still 100%. If you don’t already, I would suggest that you start questioning EVERYTHING that you’ve been taught, everything that you “know,” being careful to use your “wisdom sifter.” Weigh things. Verify. One at a time. :)
I stopped eating sugar three years ago. Yes, that means no processed foods, but I like to cook so that isn’t a hardship. High fructose corn syrup is in fricking everything! The biggest problem is the cocktail hour, every mixed drink has sugar. It’s interesting that you can order an alcohol free cocktail, but not a sugar free one. One of my adjustments is that when we go out to eat I drink coffee while everyone else has dessert.
This is something that's been on my mind a lot lately! My partner and I are currently trying to limit the amount of added sugar in our diets and it's been a challenge, between sweet-tooth cravings and the fact that it's in *so many* processed foods! We don't have a great system yet, but it is a lot easier knowing that we are both on board and are eager to see the benefits. We're also allowing ourselves one day where we go on a long walk to get ice cream. Gotta earn that cheat day!