I find the interaction between body and mind very interesting...more so now that I am pushing my physical abilities above and beyond anything I thought I would ever do in my life. It is amazing how the mind can take control when the body is just fine moving and performing a task.
And so goes the situation with food and nourishing the body for Ironman. For someone with an eating disorder, food is used for comfort in times of stress, discomfort, frustration, anger, fear, doubt, pain, sadness or any other emotion you could possibly imagine. Its also normal for a person who does, lets say, a 5 hour bike workout, to be VERY hungry when the workout is done.
Combine the two and you have a recipe for alot of negative behavior.
Im fighting an uphill battle with weight but I am determined. The one thing I DON'T like seeing recently is using food as a reward system. Finish your long swim, get a big breakfast. Cover 80 miles on your bike then you can afford a brownie. That's not how this is suppose to work but in my mind, those thoughts and actions have started to creep in. Dangerous dangerous ground here.
I have been maintaining my weight (I lost 11 pounds early on in my training but the scale has only fluctuated up and down about 5 pounds since). With all that I have been doing, you would think that I would be dropping weight like crazy but between thyroid issues and not ALWAYS making the best food choices, my weight has been stable.
If you only knew how hard it is to write this stuff but I think it is better to put it out there and get it out of my mind and heart so that it can be faced and addressed. Don't get me wrong, Im not a a binge. Im not eating to the point of being overstuffed. Im not sitting down alone and shoveling in food (but I use to do that). I just know these signs and I know, with just 88 days to Ironman, now is the time to make some changes.
I truly believe I am not the only person to battle this and train for an Ironman. Im sure there are others in this triathlon community that have to watch what goes in their mouth. I also see a vicious cycle of healthy eating for 3 days and eating junk for one or two. Thats not binging but its not healthy either.
So...I have been trying to keep this thought in the forefront of my mind in relation to everything that goes in my mouth: Is your dream worth it?? Will whatever you are putting in right now help to attain that goal?? If it's not, is it really worth it?? It sounds so basic, I know, but for someone with emotional eating, you have to take it one meal, one bite and one day at a time.
For some this is so simple...for me...it is the battle ground that may make the difference between 16:59:59 or a DNF.