Diet and Exercise Should Be Worn Like A Track Suit…
When I run, I run because I want to. If I don’t want to run, I don’t. If I don’t want to run twice in a row, it’s time to look at what’s going on in my life that’s sucking out my will to run. I’ve never had a day where I didn’t want to ride – well, maybe when it’s snowing outside and I’m stuck in my office watching a movie while I’m spinning on the trainer… Believe it or not, that does get old after three months – but if I ever do have a day where I don’t want to ride, I won’t… As long as that doesn’t turn into two, or three.
When I eat, I eat what I want, as much as I want and when I want. The trick is, what I want is generally healthy, in proportions large enough only to maintain my weight (which is actually a considerable amount of food considering my lifestyle) and I eat when I feel hungry.
This is the goal. Some people will never be able to attain this, it took me years to get to a place of balance in which I didn’t have to pay a lot of attention to what I eat. It took years of trial and error to get the physical exercise, intake and food choices to balance. It took sacrifice – I missed Coke hourly, for weeks, when I finally gave it up. When it came to snacks I had to learn how to say no thank you – something that’s not fun when you’re staring at a menu with “Death By Chocolate” on it. I had a different goal back then. It wasn’t anything more noble than “don’t get fat”. That goal has changed over time, from don’t get fat, to run faster to run longer, to run stronger to eat healthier, to cycle farther, then faster, then longer, then a triathlon, then to give up soda, then a metric century, and a full century… So I’ve finally gotten to a place where, at least for the fitness/diet part of my life, everything works. I don’t gain a lot of weight or lose a lot of weight, week to week. I’m relatively happy with my performance even if I do want to get faster, and I pretty much eat as much of whatever it is I want to eat… So that’s it, right?
Not so fast – I live my life with the understanding that there is no End Zone though I have found a place where I can be satisfied with where I’m at. Notice, please, that I didn’t use the word “happy”. I didn’t use the word happy on purpose because for a long, long time I had to find “happy” in the search for balance, in the trial and error.
I don’t do all of that work, all of the riding and running, limiting fun foods and soda, to turn around and lead a miserable life with some ridiculously strict diet and exercise regimen… The point is…
The idea is to wear fitness and diet (and life) like a track suit… Not a straight jacket.
For a time, of course, a straight jacket was necessary – especially when it came to snacks and soda. As well, vigilance is, and always will be, a must because the misery of having to go through all of that sacrifice to get to where I am now is out there waiting for me should I choose to slack off.