Overall, I feel like things have gone really well since I decided I needed to start tracking again a month ago. I’d definitely let lots of extra snacks creep into my day and even though they weren’t bad quality calories, per se, there were too many of them. My plan of tracking during the week and then “making good choices” on the weekend has worked really well so far. I’m back down to 178, where I’d been hanging out for a few months before I took my break from tracking this summer. I’m feeling a little more in control of my snacking, but having the weekend to practice more intuitive eating has been good both to build trust in myself and to fuel my half marathon training (and yay for that training paying off!)
I’ve some difficulty with letting my eating get out of control on race weekends in the past, so I was a little worried about heading out to Des Moines alone this weekend. No witnesses + a stressful (even if it is good, excited stress) event = good situation for a binge. I had a plan though. I made a concrete plan for fueling, like I talked about here, and that plan included going to get a sandwich at Panera for dinner on Saturday night before the race. I knew it would set well on my stomach and give me a chance to get in some extra carbs. As someone who relies on a plan a little TOO much, I was thrown for a bit of a loop when I got to Des Moines and realized the Panera downtown closed at 3 pm. I know, that seems like a minor thing, but it caused major panic. Now I had to find something else to eat that would set well on my stomach but not tempt me to go to that overboard-disgusted place.
I looked at my options – no Chipotle nearby, which I know also works for me. Lots of restaurants, but as I got more anxious, I doubted my ability to avoid bad choices and a binge in the restaurant setting. I wanted something I could order and take out, so I wasn’t tempted to get more and more and more until I couldn’t stop. I know it seems silly, but it was a real fear and given my history, not an entirely unreasonable one.
I pulled into a parking lot, looked for nearby restaurants on my phone and settled on a Noodles & Company. I checked their menu and saw a pasta option that would work (pasta is tricky because sauce doesn’t set well for me before a run). I could order it to go and then I’d have a finite amount, with the door closed (relatively) to temptation once I got back to my hotel room. Without room service at my hotel, I felt relatively safe because I knew I wouldn’t head back out again for more food.
It ended up fine. I got my pasta and some chicken noodle soup, took it back to the hotel and ate while I watched some silly romantic comedy. The anxiety settled down and I was able to remind myself that it was okay. I was in control of my eating and this was a good fuel choice for a half marathon in the morning.
This may not seem like a big thing or even a thing worth mentioning, except that I feel like it is important to be honest about the fact that seemingly minor things like a change in your dinner plan can cause disproportionately big problems when you struggle with disordered eating. I haven’t had a real binge in over a year and its been months since I felt out of control about my eating, but still I have struggles. I need to write about this here both to remind myself in the future that I’ve encountered these bumps and overcome them and to let anyone who is struggling know that it’s normal (or at least I hope it is) to still have times where the beast rears its nasty head.
I didn’t weigh in today because I know I’ll be up from the race. I always am, thanks to swelling I suppose. My legs are still a little sore! I ran much harder than usual apparently! Have you noticed that you gain weight after a race? How long does it usually last?