There are two elements to running/staying in shape that are absolutely essential in keeping track of: consumption and laziness. Although there are times when you are bombarded by both your nutrition/hydration and laziness, we are more often than not to be tempted by one over the other at any given time. This is what has happened to me.
My motivation is there and kicking laziness’s ass. So no problem there. My problem recently has been my eating and hydration habits. Starting last year I started running a ton in order to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. Immediately after the Marathon I started dropping the weight. Everything felt great. I was exercising and eating healthy. I had cut away the sodas, which was pretty much the only fluids that I would drink before. Everything was feeling great.
In the meantime I had also been reading a lot about other runners and how they have tackled the training and nutrition elements of running long distances. Many always talked about how not drinking sodas and eating sweets, eating healthier lunches and dinners lifted their spirits and made them feel that much better. I concurred with them, but didn’t think it made that much of a difference.
Back to present time, I had finally reached my goal weight, or close enough, of 178 (a few more pounds off won’t hurt, but I am happy at this weight), which is a staggering 35 pound lose over a year’s time period. Everything was working. My speed and endurance were both growing with my shrinking body fat percentage. So what happens? I begin to become complacent and say “You’re still running a ton, you can eat fast food again, eat sweets and drink soda, you’ll be fine”. So I did just that, and have been doing that for at least 3 weeks. Now I am not one to say no sweets or sodas ever, but in moderation, right?
Well I’ve reverted back to 4-6 sodas a day with next to zero water. What kind of runner is that? How can my body support itself on that, especially when you throw in the nasty fast food and refined sugars of ice cream and candy? And I can feel it, especially the last few days when I have been conscious of what has been happening. Now I understand what others are saying when they describe how their bodies feel in similar situations. I don’t feel as healthy even though I am running the same amount, probably more. My speed and endurance are improving, but will those begin to slow if my eating and drinking habits continue the way they are? I think so.
Complacency is a killer, and that is where I have come to. My weight is where I want to be, why worry about food now? Why would anyone think this way? I knew what I had to do to become healthy, why does that change now that I have reached target weight? It doesn’t, but the mind plays tricks. I think this is essential. Learn to recognize complacency in your eating and hydration habits, learn to understand when you are becoming lazy and shirking the necessity of continued exercise. When you master that then you will certainly be better for it, both mentally and physically. Now I have to act on this recognition. I don’t think I need to cut all sweets and sodas out, as I have always believed, but moderation is the key. More water, healthier foods equals better fuel for the body.
That is not something I want to become complacent about.