The Hunger Monster + Other Demons

Since I’ve been fighting with this injury off and on the past few weeks (months?) my training hasn’t been as consistent as it usually is and I noticed a definite decrease in my hunger. My breakfasts shrunk down to a simple egg white scramble or a container of Chobani and I was easily satisfied until lunch time. I could get away with a light lunch (a large salad), a post work snack (usually popcorn), a veg heavy dinner and my evening allotment of dark chocolate or frozen yogurt. I never really felt HUNGRY anymore.

Oh silly Ashley, did you forget how quickly your body can change?

I’ve only been back on track, so to speak, since Friday but the return of the hunger monster was pretty instant. Since I was home from work on Friday and throughout the weekend I could snack constantly so I didn’t really notice just how hungry I was until today. I squeezed in 5 (pain free!!) miles this morning, burning about 400 calories. I made a super quick 3 egg white scramble with a slice of whole wheat toast hurried out the door (which comes to less than 200 calories for breakfast, my first mistake of the day).
By 1030a I was thinking about lunch. By 11a I was hungry. By noon I was STARVING. I didn’t bring a snack (mistake #2!) and my stomach was starting to growl so loudly that other people were looking at me! Lucky for me the cafe at my work is amazing and pretty healthy, if not a bit expensive, so I treated myself to something great.

A peanut cilantro veggie burger (from Luna Burger) with a side salad. I nearly inhaled this and finally felt stable again.

Over the past year I’ve been working really hard on listening to my body. I’ve only touched briefly on my history with disordered eating but it’s something that’s always in the back of my mind. I rationally know that food is fuel, it is literally what keeps me going. It is what allows me to run. But while I was sitting at my desk listening to my stomach growl I thought “you should really just get a salad for lunch, you definitely gained a few pounds over these past few weeks”. Ugh, no! Just a bowl full of lettuce is not going to help me recover from the 5 mile run I did this morning. It’s not going to help fuel me through the Jillian DVD I have planned to do with a friend after work. It’s not going to keep me strong and healthy for my half marathon next weekend. I’m certainly not knocking salads, they are fantastic and vegetables are important (see the side salad above) but sometimes they aren’t enough on their own. Carbs aren’t the devil, fat isn’t always evil and protein isn’t the only thing we need. 

I’ll be completely honest, I’m still not positive if I eat enough on some days. I’ve read so many different ways to calculate your caloric needs and how exercise factors in, etc. and I’m not quite sure what to believe. I track most of what I eat in My Fitness Pal and try to focus mainly on my ratio of carbs to fat to protein and my important macros. . 

Overexercising and undereating is a really touchy subject, especially in the world of healthy living blogs. I can’t speak for anyone else out there but I’ve definitely had my struggles and I don’t have a problem sharing them on my personal blog, especially if it’s a way to hold myself accountable (or even open up the conversation for others who are still struggling). I’ve come a long way from the malnourished teenager I once was and I feel that overall I now lead a healthy lifestyle. Is there room for improvement? Sure. But that’s what time is for.

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