I Ate the Bunny: Things I Wish I Knew

#5 I Ate the Bunny
Series: Things I Wish I Knew as a New Triathlete.

Seinfeld's George Costanza eats peanut butter out of the jar with his fingers, rescues eclairs from the garbage and devours hot fudge sundaes (4 min mark).
True George lives with his parents, but he should know better. And, as a mother and experienced triathlete, I should too.

As a triathlete, I swim, bike and run. And, too often, I overeat or eat too much junk. Over the years, I've learned a lot about my diet. What my red light foods are. What emotional environments encourage me to overeat. How my body responds to different food choices.

One of my biggest problems--is thinking I can eat (Oreos, caramel bunnies, El Taco Loco) because I've worked out. My reward item often outweighs my workout. It'd be simpler to not eat the junk food at all. Can I "just say no" to snack-size chocolate?
With a better diet where could I be as a triathlete? I'd hope I'd be lighter, leaner, faster. All good things. Eating well should be straight-forward, but I make it complicated. I eat when I'm tired, angry, stressed-out or bored vs. when I'm actually hungry. Add on the post-workout reward and the calories pile up!
Even world-class triathletes struggle with food choices and nutrition. Six-time World Ironman Champion Dave Scott shares his advice on nutrition and common mistakes in this Inside Triathlon article.

More help:
- Stop by USA Triathlon's Fuel Station for weekly nutrition articles.
- Weight Watchers offers 28 Small Changes to Make a Big Difference here.
- Nutrition Overhaul for a Triathlon Newbie
- Quick Meals for Busy Triathletes
- Check out active.com's nutrition expert Nancy Clark RD
Lately I've been: trying to eat smaller amounts more frequently, eating smarter portion sizes and drinking more water. When I fail, I start over, right away. Tell me, how do you handle tempting food choices? What works for you?

Triathlon is a rewarding sport for people of all ages and abilities. 2009 is your year to taste triathlon. As a triathlete, you'll surprise yourself as you face fears and set personal bests. You'll be more confident, have more energy and smile more often. People will be drawn to that difference. Triathlon is a rewarding sport for people of all ages and abilities, wearing underwear is optional. Sleestak sightings rare. Dogs, many. Caramel bunnies, eaten.

Check out Why You Can series: Common excuses:
1-I have no time. 2-I can't afford it. 3-I'm too old. 4-I'm afraid. 5-I'm not an athlete.

And visit me in active.com's triathlon community. Come say hello, I'm a volunteer moderator!
photo credit by me: A caramel bunny calls out from my countertop... eat me.


Velma said...

I struggle with this A LOT. I get the crud out of my house. Learning how many calories are in foods also helps me make good decisions. I have also logged my food in training peaks. I am going to check out the articles you posted. Thanks!

Kari said...

I have recently (about a month and a half ago) switched my eating style to clean eating. The concept is if there is anything you can't pronounce in the content lable you don't put it in your mouth. It has forced me to buy more fruits and vegs. I have to plan the meals which can be hard for me but it is SO WORTH IT!! I have seen changes already - I recover faster from my workouts. If I didn't sleep well one night, the next day I feel tired but not like a slug. I can still function well and fulfill my workouts. I am eating ALL THE TIME! 5 - 6 small meals (lot of egg whites for me). I have a book from Tosca Reno about Clean Eating. I am not so strict that it is a 24/7. I have flavored creamer in my coffee and on the weekends I am a little more relaxed (one or two unclean meals). But I have noticed a difference and now I am starting to see a little bit of a difference. It takes a little time but as with training, you find the time when you really want it. Now if I cheat, my cheats are much smaller but much more managable. However, since it feels like I am always eating I don't eat the junk like I use to. I can walk away from the candy and the cakes or whatever is there.

Carolina John said...

there have been a lot of posts lately about reward eating. i like to think healthy eating is its own reward. great article!

Judy said...

As Velma stated I try to keep it out of my house to begin with - no so easy with kids during these kinds of holidays. But if I have it, I'll eat it. Dietgirl had a good article on this as well that I found to be true for me: http://www.dietgirl.org/dietgirl/2009/03/how-do-you-fight-cravings.html . If I push breakfast back a little, plan ahead for the right kind of snacks, and don't starve myself. And when I do fail, start again the next morning. :) Also it does help to force yourself to look at the nutritional content, yes we KNOW it's bad but when you actually look at it and take a minute to ponder it I usually can be pursuaded to do something different.

I Run for Fun said...

Nice post. "One of my biggest problems--is thinking I can eat (Oreos, caramel bunnies, El Taco Loco) because I've worked out."...My problem exactly!

Red About You said...

Thanks for the comment on the Red About You blog.

I must confess. I ate the bunny too... I mean, just once (okay, okay twice), but it is rough. Def. something I think we all struggle with. I buy packaged dark chocolate and reward myself if I ate well all day.

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Velma, I've tossed the junk food. We'll see if I can stay strong.

Kari, interesting concept! I try to eat lots of raw, close to natural foods, but clean eating sounds more extreme. Cool though if you can walk away from cake!

Carolina John- thanks for stopping by!

Judy- I checked out the dietgirl link, thank you! It's surprising how bad some food really is once you look at the label!

I Run for Fun- thanks for the comment. Do we have the same temptations?

Red About You- thanks for stopping by!

I'm using several of your suggestions and trying hard to be good... it's not easy!

A fun Homer Simpson clip about chocolate and motivation I saw on twitter today.


:-) Sara

Velma said...

Thanks for the comment on my race report. I think that a Wisco marathon relay in in order!

Michelle said...

I hear you on thinking you can eat whatever b/c you trained/worked out. These days just leaving the house makes me think I can eat whatever :)