I wrote an article a month ago admitting that I lie to myself about what it is that I actually eat, as opposed to the image of a “healthy eater” I send out to people. The response was as expected because there are so many of you who go through the same thing. I don’t know the exact answer as to what triggers this, but for some, it is a lack of willpower, and for others, it is our society: We are bombarded with ads for fast food, pizza and all manners of sugary treats. Now, ultimately, it becomes our choice as to what we put into our bodies, but the world we live in doesn’t help.
I have been traveling a lot this past month working for CrossFit Games Media, and I’m noticing more and more how much I have to go out of my way to find good eating choices. I’m not saying that’s the whole problem, and it certainly can be done, but the sad reality is that it’s much cheaper and easier to eat poorly in our society. Even more so, it’s the accepted norm.
I know many of you reading this have been that person at a restaurant who orders a cheeseburger with a salad and takes off the bun as soon as it gets to your table. I’m sure there has been a time when you are holding a bottle of water and some dry-roasted almonds in line at a gas station and the person next to you has a box of delicious donuts. Making the right food choices isn’t always as easy as some people make it out to be.
In the end, the onus is on me. I choose what I spend my money on foodwise. I certainly have control of what I eat while I travel. The frustration arises when I look around and see how easy it is to eat junk food and how much more time and work it takes to eat things that are better for you.
Over the past month, I feel like I start off with a good plan and then sabotage myself along the way. Here’s a good example: When I work with the Video team for CrossFit Games Media, we work long days. I love the job, and I’m certainly not complaining. The truth of the matter is that the competitions at Regionals and the Games take a long time to complete. Because of that, I am “rewarding” myself after a 12-hour shift with some sugary dessert or poorly balanced meal because “I deserve it.” Not only does eating like this take a toll on my body, but it also leaves me struggling the next day to stay focused and it disrupts my sleep patterns. As a side effect, it zaps my will to stay motivated to train while I’m on the road.
This snowball of bad choices starts with something little and ends up having an adverse result on my mental and physical health.
All I’ve done here is complain and make excuses, so what’s the solution? I’d have to say the reality is that I need to be an adult and make the less fun call of eating more meats and veggies, limiting or eliminating the snacks or sugary treats, and finding something more productive and less destructive to reward myself with after a long day than bad food. If I can do those things, I think I’ll feel better. If I feel better, I think I’ll want to train more, and so on.
Breaking the cycle of eating poorly can be done if you are willing to do the work. Just like a long grinding workout, the best approach is to buckle down and take it a rep at a time.
What are some struggles you have had with staying on task, nutritionally? How do you manage what you eat when traveling or being away from home?
Stay on the grind.