I had told a friend that the worst thing about the job related stress was that it had been interfering with my sleep and also, most horribly, was causing some stomach pain that interfered with my appetite. Ask me what I like most about heavy training and I’ll tell you that sleeping like a baby and eating like a teenage boy are pretty much the high points of the day.
Absent the stomach pains I’ve been finding that this time around I’m not so ravenous and that’s a good thing. I will confess that around 4:30am Monday morning I was coming down the stairs silently hoping there was yogurt in the house as I couldn’t sleep for the hunger. There was and I went back to sleep for a couple hours and dreamt about mac & cheese. So, naturally, after the bowl of fruit first thing I had the homemade mac & cheese that I decided had to be made. And you know what – IT WAS FREAKING THE BEST MAC & CHEESE EVER. I was stuffed for hours.
I’m trying to eat as my appetite demands but I still worry always about too much or too little. I left a falafel ball at lunch on Wednesday but then worried that half way through my swim that night I WOULD NEED THAT FALAFEL BALL – STAT.
I am the supplement queen. Omega-3 is a big one for me, extra vitamin C when I’m training hard, vitamin D in the winter, a B complex capsule for stress, flax oil for breast health (so said the doctor) and now evening primrose as I approach THE CHANGE. I am in complete denial about it however, anything I’m experiencing is as a result of stress – damn it.
I find that I naturally gravitate towards lots of maligned “white” carbs, pasta and sourdough bread especially but that also seems to naturally fall off when the training is lighter. Rice is always brown, however, and unless it’s summer, breakfast is a cup of whole grains, wheat, rye and flax. I eat a metric ton of fruit yearly, always know I should up my vegetables and avoid pre-process grocery story food (food should not come in boxes) as much as I can. Without thinking about it I’m usually at 60% carbs, with fat and protein bringing up the difference about 20/20 on average. I did try deliberately bringing my carbs down to 50% after Ironman last but found I felt unwell the whole time. I didn’t lose any weight and I didn’t enjoy my meals.
Ultimately, enjoying one’s meals is the key. We are very lucky to live in a time and a place in which hunger is virtually unknown (if you have the cash) but what we’ve done with that surplus is to stuff our bodies with more than we need given how little we use them. I like food, everybody does. So, for me the only thing to do is work on the energy out equation. And that, my dear readers, is as much fun as the energy in. Good energy out this morning on a hill workout and now I’m thinking of what to have along with the lettuce growing in my secret garden. Nothing is coming from a box tonight. It’s all sacred..