Get Stuffed

Most of the time I (try to) eat healthy, but lately I’ve really had to work at it, for a couple of reasons. It all started when I continued the same eating habits I developed while training for Ironman 70.3 Austin. Turns out that when you’re not biking 100 miles, swimming 7500 meters, and running 20+ miles every week, you don’t need to eat so much. But habits are hard to break (especially for me…), and it wasn’t until I realized I was eating when I wasn’t hungry that I knew I had to make a change. Plus my jeans were kinda tight and I really don’t like tight clothing. Except for compression socks.

We went to Florida soon after I did the half Ironman and I really had to work on not eating all the crap they sell at the parks. Usually I pack snacks but I’ll eat them just because they’re there, so I tried not to do that and instead made sure I ate a decent lunch. Sometimes that’s hard to find at Disney or Universal, and you definitely have to plan ahead, but there are options other than the standard fried junk, if you look for them. In actual fact, I think Disney has made some changes because I was able to get a delicious grilled veggie sandwich at one of the restaurants in Hollywood Studios. I don’t know if Magic Kingdom has improved – that was always the worst park for healthy eating – as my kids have decided they’re too old for that park, but when we did go, we always made a res at the Crystal Palace because it was buffet style which enabled us to pick the healthier stuff. Mind you, they had some awesome desserts that I refused to say no to.

Another habit I developed during the endurance training was always packing a snack when I was going to a meeting. I would actually panic at the thought of feeling hungry, and would make sure I ate a snack right before I went into the meeting. Since some of my meetings last 3 hours, and no-one else appears to be hungry except me, this was good strategy. The problem was, I started snacking a lot. Even when I didn’t need to. I was so afraid of that sick feeling I get when I’m hungry.

So yesterday off I went for a meeting in Arlington. No snacks. But the meeting was supposed to be only an hour or so. No problem. On my short walk to the building I noticed a Pinkberry and made plans to visit once the meeting was over. But our meeting started 30 minutes late. And my stomach started grumbling right away. Thankfully, after about 30 minutes, it quieted down like a child who’s given up trying to get your attention. And I no longer felt hungry, which was interesting. Was the stomach grumbling because it was used to me feeding it constantly? At 2 hours, I had to go outside and feed the parking meter. I put in enough for another hour, thinking I wouldn’t need that long. I glanced over at Hard Times Cafe and wondered if anyone would notice if I didn’t come back for 30 minutes. Probably. I’m not exactly quiet. At 3 hours, I had to leave the meeting as I only had an hour to get back home and pick up the kids, and it’s a 45 minute drive barring any traffic issues. Didn’t have time for Pinkberry or any other food place. I had to drive past a ton of restaurants on my way back, which was depressing, although I realized, intrigued, that I was no longer hungry. Still, I knew I should eat lunch because it was 2pm and I hadn’t eaten a thing since 9:30, which is a really long time for me.

I grabbed a sandwich and soup at Panera and ate them in the car while waiting for the kids to get out of school. When I thought about it, I only went 4.5 hours without food. That’s a long time for me, but I’ll bet it’s perfectly normal for the 3-meals-a-day crowd. I consider myself a “grazer,” but when I mentioned that to my coach he laughed and told me I’m not a grazer. Apparently I’m more of a “stuffer” who eats as if she doesn’t know when the next meal is coming. I think he’s basing this on the huge amount of food I ordered after last year’s Philly marathon. In my defense, I ordered a lot because I couldn’t decide what to have, and I did end up sharing it with another, very hungry team mate.

So tomorrow is Thanksgiving, unless you’re British like me in which case it’s November 24th. But I will indulge for the sake of everyone else. I think I’ll throw caution to the wind, pretend I’m training for a marathon, and then get back on the wagon November 25th. Either that, or start training a lot more. 😉

Do you have similar problems when on a hiatus from endurance training? Does your stomach grumble during meetings? Do you pack snacks? 



  1. Ha, I learned that lesson too after my first marathon!! Happy Thanksgiving, even if you are British! 😉

  2. I notice that too! I get used to eating every two hours during training, then suddenly I’m not working out all the time and can go hours without food. The constant snacking is a tough habit to break, though. Enjoy your feast today. Happy thanksgiving!

  3. Great post! I hate it when meetings run long and my stomach is just growling. One strategy I started to use was always having a Luna bar on hand in case I really needed it. I don’t like them that much, so it’s something I’ll only go for if I am genuinely hungry. Glad to hear that you plan to enjoy Thanksgiving and just eat whatever. That’s what the holiday is meant for!

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