Warning. This post is about chocolate…and then breakfast.
At the beginning of the month I had to give myself a good talking to. I was about a month into training and I was acting like I wasn’t going to go overseas in a few months and race an Iroman in ridiculous heat, knowing that no matter what I said out loud I would still secretly want to do well.
So why was I then stuffing my face full of chocolate again? I think the answer, as always, was tied up with my mental mind set. Perhaps it was the onset of daylight savings and the cold, dark winter mornings, but I was feeling very unmotivated. I still think that I can eat whatever I want and I will be able to just train it away, then when the weight does not shift I get more and more depressed. Then the vicious cycle begins of hating that I can’t control my addiction and eating more chocolate (and other food) to make myself feel better, and not actually feeling any better because I am failing in my main goal.
I had heard about Junk Free June and knew a few people who were doing it. I didn’t really feel the need to join in. However, on 2 June I bought a chocolate bar and suddenly thought “I don’t need to eat this today. Why don’t I see if I can make it to the end of the month without eating it?” This seemed like an impossible thing to do at the time, but I think what I was looking for was a goal to work towards.
That sounds silly as I am going to Kona and should be working towards that. However, at the time it just seemed too far away and mentally I wasn’t able to commit to it. So I committed to a smaller short term goal instead that I knew I could use as a stepping stone to mentally prepare myself for the hard winter months of training ahead.
What do you know, I’m half way through and it is working! Not only have I regained some control in the way I eat, but I am also enjoying my training again. So what started out as a bit of a joke is now turning into something much more serious. And hopefully I’ll be able to raise a little bit of money for charity in the process! – see https://nz.junkfreejune.org/donate/participants/
I have also been keeping a food diary for the last 6 weeks, which is something that my gym – Results Room – encourages. While doing Junk Free June was a good was to reinvigorate my determination towards competing in Kona, I was also interested to see if there were any patterns in my eating habits that were causing the chocolate binges. I know that this is something that I have talked about before, but I don’t think that I fully understand why I binge the way I do when I’m not focused on a competition goal.
The answer may lie in my breakfast. Now I’m not knocking what I eat for breakfast as I think that it is actually quite a good breakfast. The problem seems to be that I just don’t eat enough of it, particularly on training days where I don’t adjust my intake for the amount of work I have just done.
I discussed this with my trainer and came up with some simple ideas to add more to my breakfasts:
add a hard boiled egg (or two);
add a smoothie (berries, protein powder and milk);
eat a couple of Coconutty Balls straight after training before I get to my main meal;
add a scope of protein powder to my porridge.
The next day after my bike/run brick I made and ate my standard porridge and peanut butter mix (with a bit of cinnamon for natural sweetness and anti-inflammatory benefits) but I also ate a hard boiled egg. I had actually prepared two but was too full to eat the second one. Later that morning I was amazed at how full I felt. Usually by about 10am I am ravenous again. As I was going to the gym at lunch I had a further snack anyway. Later in the evening I was still feeling the effects of having a fuller breakfast and wasn’t searching for food after dinner.
What do other people do? I’d be interested to hear about what other people’s training breakfasts look like.