photo by Steve Penland

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Body by Crap

"You are what you eat," they say--but I'm pretty sure this is not true, because of the following:

I eat fast food. I am not fast.

In truth, I could be the poster child for Body by Crap (except I'm a little old to be an anything-child). If it's bad for me, I like it: pizza, fries, hamburgers, chips. And diet pop...lots of diet pop. Especially Diet Dew. As the spokesperson for Body by Crap, my motto is "Just Dew It."

I'm not sure how I ended up being the Queen of the Junk Food, because I certainly didn't start out that way. We ate a lot of healthy stuff when I was growing up; all our meals were home-cooked, and I think I was a teenager before I ever tasted McDonald's. And I wasn't forced into eating well by my parents; I truly believed in it. I read Adelle Davis' book "Lets Eat Right to Keep Fit" when I was 12; on a fourth-grade field trip that included a stop at Mickey D's, I insisted on bringing my own bag lunch (OK, so I was health-conscious and a geek); I probably drank 2 cans of pop a year throughout my childhood. According to an article I just read in our local paper, the healthy eating habits of my childhood should have lingered into adulthood.

Unfortunately, not so. I picked up a nice Tab habit in college--gateway drug to the hard stuff, the Dew--and somewhere along the line I discovered the joy of the drive-through. Now, at 47, I can convince myself that half a box of Peanut Butter Panda Puffs cereal is good recovery food, and that a McDonald's breakfast is not only a fine pre-race option, it's actually essential.

Yes, that's right...I have eaten McDonald's for breakfast before every long track race for the past five years or so...except for the one time I tried Burger King, but that didn't end well. Bacon-egg-and-cheese bagel or biscuit for a short local time trial meet; sausage-egg-and-cheese for the longer meets when I need to stave off hunger until 1:00 or so. And hashbrowns. And, of course, Diet Dew (or coffee if I'm in Canada where Dew is scarce and un-caffeinated). I can't eat between races, so I need to eat enough at breakfast to last until the end of the meet.

Or so I tell myself.

And it's worked well--up until now. Now, though, what with the increasingly-tight skinsuit and the increasingly-increasing lap times, I need to make sure that my diet isn't a contributor to my slow-and-pudgy issues. As Coach TieGuy recently reminded me, sooner or later Crap In will equal Crap Out, and I can't expect my body to continue to perform well on McMuffins and Diet Dew (I think there was an implicit "at your age" in his comment, but I didn't ask). I know how to eat well in general, but I'm not sure how to eat so as to lose weight while doing insane workouts, or how to eat to recover from insane workouts. So I signed on with a nutrition-for-athletes service. I'm waiting for my dietitian to get back to me so we can design the optimal eating plan for someone who knows the location of every McDonald's within a five mile radius of every long track oval in North America. While I'm waiting to hear from her, of course, I'm doing what any logical person would do--I'm eating everything I'm not supposed to eat, before she can tell me I'm not allowed to eat it anymore.

So yes, I had McDonald's and Diet Dew for breakfast today. I was, after all, going to a race.

Except I wasn't racing, I was just watching.

I'm afraid my dietitian has her work cut out for her.

No comments:

Post a Comment