These past two weeks, I have been prioritising rest above anything else. I have done very little training, I have slept till my hearts content, I have moved in non-strenuous ways, and I have continued to eat lots of good wholesome food, just as I would when in full training. Foods that I would eat at ANY time of the year.
You see a lot of athletes post on social media about how the arrival of ‘off season’ means they can finally eat the foods they have been craving. They can finally delve into a big pizza and eat cake, burgers and ice cream. It’s like they have successfully resisted such foods for a whole year, and now they can finally devour them, but why do they not eat these throughout the rest of the year? Why do they feel the need to restrict themselves for the rest of the year. Yes, some athletes may feel they perform better with different diets, who am I to say, I’m not a professional, but for me, I perform best when I am healthy mentally and physically, and I give my body the foods it asks for.
If my body is craving a brownie, I’ll have a brownie. Chances are I haven’t eaten much sugar and my body is need of some. But also, if I constantly fight that desire to have a brownie and don’t allow myself to eat it, I’ll constantly be reinforcing the idea that denying myself certain foods is something I should do. It isn’t. I don’t need to earn certain foods for a whole year just to be able to eat them for two weeks. I believe, everything can be eaten in moderation, and this is what I do, because it is more sustainable. I eat pizza and I eat ice cream, but I don’t just eat it in my off season, I eat it at any time of the year.
Due to my past (and potentially controlling personality traits, haha!), I don’t want to reinforce this idea in my mind that I should restrict myself throughout the year except for 2 weeks. I know for certain, I would then be in a potentially damaging mindset. One that could overtime cause more harm than good. I therefore, like to listen to my body and my mind.
To me, running and my diet are both part of my lifestyle. It is all about consistency and balance. If I constantly fuel my body with a balanced diet, that includes every type of food, I will have a healthy body and mind. Similarly to running, if I aim to be consistent, incorporate all types of sessions and have a balance of running and cross training, I will have a healthy body and mind. Consistency is key! I eat what I want, when I want, whilst maintaining the balance overall.
So, next time you see a post about an athlete finally being able to enjoy the foods they crave in their off season, and feel you need to earn certain foods, remind yourself that everyone is different. Just because they don’t eat certain foods throughout the year, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Don’t feel bad, feel proud. Be proud that you are doing what works for YOU, physically, but more importantly mentally!
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!