*Lindsay’s Note: The following is part four in a multi part series by Rebekka Utermohlen on her 2015 Fitness Journey.
Since I’ve started to use my body for more than a sedentary lifestyle, I have a felt a shift in how it responds to food. Junk food, mostly. As a notorious cheeseburger and french fry consumer, I recently went to In and Out and my dinner left me feeling sluggish and dissatisfied. That has never happened to me before – I love In and Out like any self-respecting California girl. But as I was driving back home I confided in my boyfriend that I wish I had eaten something healthy for dinner – a Bombay bowl from Veggie Grill to be exact. Then about a week later while working late at a gallery, the Gallery Owner offered to pick up some fast food and I ordered a BBQ cheeseburger. By the time I was done with my work and headed home for the night, I felt like I had been poisoned. I wasn’t experiencing food poisoning, but my body was angry at me for choosing to put such junk in my system, and it was going to let me know.
Now that I’m running and sticking to a fitness plan, I can feel the effects of what I eat. My stamina and running performance changes based on what I ate the day before. After a Sunday afternoon when I indulged in a chili cheese dip, tiny hotdogs, tollhouse chocolate chip cookies, and root beer; I felt like I was running with a ten pound baby chimpanzee strapped to my legs. It’s cliché, but if you view food like fuel, and your body like a car, it’s like I had just filled this luxury model with the lowest grade gasoline. I was slowed down by all the sodium, fat, and sugar I had consumed the day before.
My grocery list is now filled with healthy eats- fresh fruit, oatmeal, brown rice, veggies, and chicken sausage to add to quick pasta dishes paired with a salad. It’s when I’m not eating at home that I get in trouble. Especially when out on an adventure from sunrise to sunset. At restaurants I’m still inclined to order the fattiest item on the menu, because I fear that healthy food will lack flavor. One of my biggest pet peeves is overpaying for mediocre food. But then the way I feel for the rest of the day is the real loss. When I could have felt energized and clear; instead I’m fighting a food coma.
Here are some of the ways I’m going to set myself up for “shift success”
- Prep: Pack a lunch and snacks. It will save money, and discovering a cute park to have an impromptu picnic will only add to a day of exploration.
- Research: I use Yelp all the time while traveling in new cities or states, so I need to start using it for familiar cities as well. Finding healthy delicious places to eat based on ratings and radius is a no brainer.
- Play the movie: After picking out my top menu choices, play the movie, and predict how the ingredients in the item will make me feel later. Will the rich and heavy plate of food, be really worth it? What else do I have going on that day/night?
The shift is real! Do you listen to your body? What foods make you feel awful and awesome?