The Connection Runners + training

The Truth About What I Eat

I've been meaning to write this post for a long time.

Why am I writing it now? Not sure, really. A myriad of reasons.

1) Food is a monster I've only recently learned how to tame.
2) People always wonder what I eat when I'm training or running a lot.
3) Eating is a topic that arises so frequently in the so-called "healthy living" blogger world as many people turn to blogging to help them in keeping food habits in check.

Though I've briefly discussed my eating habits previously, I feel the need to address the topic on a larger scale. It's Thursday, and it's cold out, so why not snuggle up and discuss this today?

Historical context is of utmost importance to me, so let's rewind for a hot minute.

This was me in college, at a time when I worked out constantly and monitored every food for fat grams, calorie count, and ingredients. At 5'3", I probably weighed 112 pounds.

This was me just after graduating college, at a time when I never worked out and lived off of every processed food imaginable. Still at 5'3", I probably weighed 135 pounds.

Yeah, I know. It's the same story you've heard on blogs before: girl goes to college, girl watches weight, girl leaves college, girl gains weight.

Then, girl discovers kale and quinoa and smoothies and it's all better, right? Never again does she touch a Chicken McNugget, a bag of chips, or a diet soda?

Yeah, it's all true, except for those previous two sentences.

Confession: I'm no stranger to falling victim to the Blog World comparison trap. Sometimes I feel guilty that I don't drink smoothies every day, or that I don't look forward to a giant salad at lunch, or that I didn't know what the hell kale chips were for the longest time.

Confession Part Two: I'm not saying there's anything wrong with smoothies or kale chips or salads or the people who consume them daily. It's just that sometimes (usually while I'm swinging through Taco Bell to satisfy a chicken quesadilla craving), I wonder what "better" food other people are eating. And then I feel bad.

But it's important that I then take a step back and realize some things. I need to realize that how I choose to eat works for me.

It took me a good couple of years to successfully navigate my way through the world of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls vs. Weight Watchers chocolate cakes, of grilled chicken vs. fried, of dressing on the salad vs. dressing on the side.

So now that I think I've got it mostly figured out, I can't let the way other people eat affect what my own habits are.

Truths About What I Eat

Carbs + Megan = True Love. I'm serious. Surely I eat far too many in a day, from bagels and cereal at breakfast, to a fat whole-wheat sandwich at lunch, to a giant hunk of baguette with dinner.

Dr. Atkins can roll in his grave all he wants, but carbs are the center of my (eating) life.

The occasional fast food breakfast, lunch, or dinner is always a welcome treat. Give me a sausage McMuffin and a hot hash brown once in a while, and I'll love you forever. Oh, and those pies at BK? They are seriously good.

I still don't understand the appeal of overnight oats, and I really hate eating yogurt in the morning. Part of me (the worrisome part) wishes I liked these foods more, probably because it's what other people like to eat.

In a fight between real foods and their fake counterparts, real wins (most of the time). Unless I'm indulging in a 10-piece McNugget meal, I usually prefer "real" foods. You know, chicken from an unprocessed chicken. An actual piece of rich chocolate cake over the Weight Watchers tease. Small servings of full-fat peanut butter and ice cream instead of the low-fat versions. Bread without high fructose corn syrup.

When I'm training for a race, nothing is off-limits. I'm one of those people who consumes every one of the 2,000 calories burned during a 20-miler, most often in the form of deep-dish pizza. However, while losing weight during race training is definitely not an option, I do try to ensure I don't gain any either. Keeping things even keel is my goal.

Variety and balance are my best friends. I could eat grilled chicken for dinner every night, but then I could also gouge my eyes out with a rusty nail. Same, same.

However, I also understand the importance of swapping out my fries for a baked potato once in a while, or pairing my cheese with an apple or carrot sticks.

I'm not afraid to eat anymore. Back in those college days, I was a raging food bitch because food used to scare me. I swear: Chips Ahoy would cackle at me and nudge the package of E.L. Fudge cookies next to it as they watched me stare in anguish at their deliciousness knowing I'd never spend a penny on either one. Now, I just buy the damn cookies and eat them once in a while.

I no longer regret the mistakes I make with food. While I'm not entirely happy after a day filled with pizza, cake, and Thai noodles, I chalk it up to a bad day and move on to the next.

And usually that next day is a pretty healthy one, filled with fruit and veggies and all of the good things I know I could eat every day but don't.

I didn't write this post to be controversial or anything, just wanted to share my own thoughts about my own habits.

Have any food truths that you want to share?

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The Truth About What I Eat + training