In a previous post I mentioned a comment that I get quite often from individuals who hear I run a lot…”just eat another cookie” and expounded on why that is easier said than done for me. Struggling with an eating disorder means I have issues with food even to this day considering I am over 20 years removed from my absolute lowest point. Unlike other struggles one cannot walk away from food, we need it to survive and in my case run efficiently. Having said that though there are still foods that I LOVE, crave, and go gaga for. Red Velvet ANYTHING is one of them!
My love affair with Red Velvet is deep seeded and has a bit of history attached to it. Growing up my Grandma Joan would always make a birthday cake of your choice for your birthday. You ask and she would make it happen. Pretty darn awesome if you ask me. One year I asked her to surprise me and did she ever. I was introduced to my kryptonite on my 10th birthday and have not looked back since. To preface this Red Velvet has made a surge in the food market recently, but many (many) years ago it was not popular. The only fix I got was my birthday or if I could con my sister into asking for Red Velvet for her birthday too. Several years passed between my introduction to this wonderful flavor and the development of my eating disorder, but they are however connected.
At the height of my struggle with food I swore off all items that I loved. For a few years I did not ask for Red Velvet cake for my birthday and ignored my desire for its fantastic goodness to warm my taste buds and heart. The crazy part about that is I saw it as a victory. I had stood toe to toe with something that I craved and walked away. That is one of the messed up parts about anorexia, you think backwards and see things in a skewed way. It truly wasn’t a victory and it has taken me several years and races to recognize that.
Part of my recovery has been to view food as fuel. I try to be balanced and take in foods that provide me with the opportunity to run hard and long. I am by no means perfect but my relationship with calories is much healthier then it ever has been. I stumble and fall from time to time and always have to be on guard of triggers. One of the ways that I do this is to “splurge” after races on foods that I love. I know that to stay on my training schedule I need to replace the calories I burned in my race and also celebrate the effort put out on the course. I utilize these times to challenge myself to eat foods I once avoided and enjoy them in the process. So when I saw Red Velvet Oreos staring back at me on the grocery store shelf on Sunday after the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon I cut myself some slack and snagged them up. Maybe not the best post-race recovery food by nutritional standards, but for me it fit the bill.
Food will always be something that I struggle with, but running helps me to balance things out and create a better outlook on my past triggers. Reintroducing foods that I love in moderation in conjunction with my running well, that is the real victory and the Oreos did not disappoint!
#BeKind #BeHealthy #BeActive