Can you out-exercise a bad diet? Part one
Let me share a few numbers with you. These are the twelve month totals for last year  tracked by my Garmin watch.
|Rest stop on a Trace ride|
Cycling 3400 miles rode
Running 740 miles ran and or walked
Swimming 107,295 yards swam
At first glance you might wonder how could anyone gain weight and complete over 740 miles of running in a year or 3400 miles of cycling and swim over 100,000 yards in a year. All I can say is that I did.
I have no problem gaining weight. There are probably a few people nodding their head right about now in agreement with that statement. I have friends that can down two double meat cheese burgers with fries and the scale doesn’t even move. I on the other hand, have one of those delicious hamburger combo meals and the next morning the scale has moved three pounds up. It doesn’t seem fair!
Get used to it is what I have to say to myself, life isn’t fair. [A topic for another day]
Unfortunately being a person with a food addiction I have a tendency to try to justify my actions. “Tendency” is probably not the right word. I truly believe with all my heart what I am doing makes sense.
I can go for a long run, let’s say over eight to ten miles. When I am finished, instead of making a delicious protein shake and treating my body the correct way, I do the exact opposite. My brain says “You just knocked out ten miles, let’s enjoy the evening!” It is at that moment I have decided I can pretty much have anything under the sun when it comes to food. Cheeseburger with fries, no problem, Chicken strips and fries, no problem [don’t forget the extra sauce], Chips and cheese dip, chicken fajitas and a few cold beers, no problem!
In the blink of an eye all of my hard work and desire to do what was best for me is gone. When you begin to log the miles on the bike or running that I do, this pattern begins to happen weekly. Gone is the single day to have a meal with my wife and friends after church. Now we have another day or even two days where my ‘cheat’ meal has replaced what should have been a great day for not only keeping the scale where it was or even moving it in the right direction! I can see Emeril saying in a very loud voice “BAM” and saying “Paul what are you doing to yourself?”
But it gets better if I am going to be honest. This past year I trained for two full distance triathlons. If you are not familiar, that is a 4200 yard swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run. So once those race dates went by, I took a couple of weeks off. You can already see where I am going with this. The handwriting is literally on the wall! Two, three or four weeks off where I am resting, basically just doing minimal exercising and of course my eating does not reflect that.
Oh, but it gets even better. How you might ask. Well, add into the mix this past year two cruises. For a person who struggles with their weight, a cruise might be the ultimate in temptations. Food is available all day and in any quantity that you want. Baskets of bread and desserts on the table every night compound the problems for a person who has a very hard time doing the right thing and saying no.
Now did I mention my mother died this past year… no I didn’t. It is almost shameful that I mention her passing in this article. But it happened and I ate food for no reason at all. One option could have been that it was there on the table. A month of stress eating in the books, but who among us hasn’t done that?
As you can tell right about now, I make excuses… [Topic for another day]
About this point as I write I cannot help but think of the Apostle Paul when he penned the words “The good I want to do, I don’t do and the bad I don’t want to do, I do.” [My paraphrase] Isn’t that the truth? I know that he wasn’t talking about making wise food choices, but it does fit with my narrative doesn’t it?
So to answer my title for this article, you cannot by any means and in any way shape or form, out exercise a bad diet. Take it from me on this one. My advice for you is simple. Get your food choices or meal plan inked in and worked out before you embark on training plans. Because if you have a food addiction issue like me, it will derail your best efforts and give you excuses and opportunities to fail daily at being healthy.
Become truthful and hold yourself accountable
Until next time, stay in peace