Since joining the gym I’ve been very conscious about what I eat. I’m really lucky that I work in an environment where people eat for health and are often on diets based on their chosen sport. I work with a weight trainer, a cross lifter, a footballer and a cyclist – we all have our chosen training and eating plans. It’s really helped me to train my mind and the way I think about food.
I’m often told by my friend Jen that abs are made in the kitchen. And she’s right. We will often have discussions about food and what it does for you. I have found in the last few months, since signing up for the half marathon, that I’m really thinking about what I put into my body – no that’s kind of a lie – I’ve not being thinking about it so much as it’s a natural thought process whenever I choose a meal. I think about how food will fuel my body for the activity I’ll be undertaking that day. I’ll eat a protein packed lunch if I’ll be weight training that evening, or I’ll plan dinner to be carb heavy if I will be running after. And it’s not a chore. I like to eat a lot of these things anyway, but now if I’m going out to eat I will naturally choose something that will complement my activity rather than going for a big pile of greasy food that will make me feel like rubbish.
I’ve been noticing which foods alter my mood, give me belly ache or bloat me too. Normally I’d just ride it out but because I have been eating right for a longer time now I am less tolerant of this and choose not to feel that way. I watched a BBC Horizon documentary last week called Sugar V Fat. Two British doctors, who were identical twins, did an experiment where one of them ate a sugar only based diet and the other ate a fat only based diet. They wanted to see what would happen as the UK and US are always harping on about sugar being bad or fat being bad – they wanted to see which was right. They basically both got very unhealthy but not to a point where they should cut one or the other food out. They found that what makes people fat is the foods that contain a half sugar half fat content – things like cheesecake and ice cream. They pointed out that there is no food in nature which contains this kind of balance – our bodies aren’t built to cope with it but it tastes amazing, and as we can eat so much of it we just convert it into fat. It’s really effected what I choose to eat and made me think before I eat an ice cream or doughnut.
I like to think I ate healthily before but wouldn’t think twice about getting a pizza delivered and eating the whole thing. I know it’s all about moderation and balance, but I’m enjoying the way I’m thinking about food and eating. And it also means that if I have a ‘cheat’ meal as a treat it really IS a treat.