Compromise – the good kind

I wrote my last exam this morning. A brutal one, 12 pages of symbols and blanks and equations needing solving. I scribbled and erased and scribbled some more and more than once had a rising feeling of panic because oh my god we didn’t review this in class last week and I didn’t study it.

It’s been a grunt of a semester, to put it nicely. Most often, it felt like I was being pulled in one thousand different directions and school was put on the back burner. The classes were boring and difficult and the kids were sick a lot and well, the list goes on.

There’s no nasty feelings associated with how I’ve done this semester. Quite obviously, it’s not as well as I had hoped, but I did the best with what I could. And so, it’s over now anyway, isn’t it?

I had a very long run planned for today, and now I sit here wanting to close my eyes and breathe deep and maybe even read a book (that’s what I’ve missed most, you know, time to read a book). Eat something bad for me. Fall asleep.

It’s a compromise though, because I know that fast food won’t give me the release that I’m looking for right now, and I also know that there isn’t 18 kilometres of energy inside of me right now.

So I told myself I’d run 12km, make a good dinner and after the kids go to bed, while Steve writes an exam, I’ll do whatever I want.

Stress is my bad-eating trigger. That feeling of the doors crashing open and being overtaken by panic. While I was writing my exam this morning, during one hard part I thought to myself, I’m going to eat Dairy Queen for lunch. On the drive home, I rationalized myself out of it, because I realized what that was. And how that food would make me feel.

It’s funny we do that, though, and I’m not sure why. We have such deep and intimate relationships with food. I, personally, can’t resist apple pie for breakfast if it’s on the table. But that’s because of the memories I associate with apple pie. But fast food? Why that? It’s like I expect that to make me feel better. Sure, I enjoy the taste while I’m eating it, but it never, ever, makes me feel better (or even good).

Part of this whole “healthier” eating plan I’ve been doing has been changing the way I look at food. I’m hesitant to label any food group as “bad” (note: food group, not food – like chips etc), because then it inevitably brings guilt when you do eat it. And of course I’ve long been aware of the concept of “food as fuel”. I think of it in reference to my running. Pasta before long runs, protein afterwards. At one point I read “You can’t ‘work off’ a cinnamon roll. If you put garbage in, you get garbage results.”

It struck home to me, because although I think of fueling with good foods, I’ve never actually thought about the detriment that the “bad” food can cause.

I guess what I’m rambling around here is that even when I’m feeling shitty and down and tired, if I can just get up the energy to get off my ass, to eat something healthy and to tell myself that I can indulge, but to just wait until after supper, I usually end up not wanting to at all.

It’s not about deprivation, it’s about compromise.

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