License To Eat

I.am.H.U.N.G.R.Y…yup, I’m training for a half-marathon which is in a mere 9 days, and I am starving. I’m eating more than I was before I started training, but as it turns out, I may have given my brain the message that I am starving. My body mass index (BMI) is on the top edge of normal (i.e. on the bottom edge of overweight). So, how can my brain think I’m in starvation mode when my body has so many reserves of energy?

Yesterday I was complaining to a coworker that I was training for a half-marathon, yet I hadn’t lost any weight. On the other hand, I know that you are not supposed to try to lose weight while in training because you will be working at cross-purposes; you need more calories to keep your muscles fueled with carbs or you will have trouble reaching your running goal. Even so, as you increase your calorie burn, shouldn’t you lose weight anyway? To complicate this, I was also complaining about being hungry all the time. She said something that I should have thought of myself…even though I was eating more than normal, I was not eating enough and my body was reacting in starvation mode.20130913-222753.jpg

I guess my body likes to be this weight…I’ve maintained it for almost 9 months now. I’ll just have to wait another couple of weeks until after the race to diet and get on with the weight-loss. In the meanwhile, it’s time to pack in some carbs. Now THAT is my idea of heaven! I found a list of suggested snacks for post-run which are rich in carbs and protein without being too high in fat. It turned out that I already was eating some of them, like low-fat Greek yogurt, Nature Valley Protein Bars, and soy milk. I decided to try a few more and started with dates filled with peanut butter which turned out to be surprisingly good.

So, for once in my life, I have license to add calories because I’ve been running so much I’m creating a calorie deficit. It’s even possible that by adding calories I’ll convince my body that I’m not starving and I’ll actually lose a few pounds. I sure feel like I deserve it.

The last two days I gave myself permission to eat quite a bit more than I usually do, particularly carbs. I had two servings of a Greek Shrimp and Pasta dish last night. Today, I went out to lunch and had a green salad with nuts, fruit, and feta plus had a side of bread. This evening, I went to a picnic at my daughter’s school and ate pasta salad, berries, bread, and a slice of cake. Hmmm…I am definitely not hungry now…we’ll see how well I do on my 12 mile training run tomorrow…the last long run before the race.

Find the Joy in the Journey…and if you are training for a long race, enjoy those extra calories!

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