Saturday, August 14, 2010

Adventures in Hunger

Dear Diary,

I've discovered what true hunger is.  True hunger is being in the food isle at Walgreen's and having trouble deciding what to buy because everything looks good.

Every crappy food on the shelf, even non-refrigerated steamable meals that are, in my normal opinion, slightly greater in quality and value than an MRE. They may be less.

Normally, I know that I must be hungry because I start "noticing" food, food ads, food signs, etc. Like, "Oh, KFC. I wonder if there's anything vegetarian there? Man, I miss fried chicken." or, "Oh, Wendy's. Their fries are awesome. Hey, frozen pizzas are on sale at Smith's"

But on the day that I had completed my 64th mile for the week (the most I've ever done in a training week, so far)  my stomach was wrapping itself around my spine, there in the isle at Walgreen's. A noise emitted from my contracting food bag that, I swear, made the guy standing further down the isle edge a little further away. I just tried to affect a neutral face like, noise?  what noise? 
No, that did NOT come from me, because I am a delicate flower.

Still, I couldn't decide what to eat. So many awful possibilities...I finally chose a reasonably low-fat Simply Asia noodle bowl, a can of tiny shrimp, and a can of crab meat, to get protein I need. It was a crazy 12 or some points in Weight Watchers, which means I will, literally, eat into my activity points for the week now.

I climbed the stairs back up to my office, and started opening things and preparing them for the microwave, and went downSTAIRS to microwave them, and came back upSTAIRS to find that MREs would have been better, because THEY come with UTENSILS.

After briefly considering using my Purel to disinfect two pens to use as chopsticks, I reluctantly came to the conclusion that I'm going to have to go get a spork. From the cafeteria. Which is downstairs. Down. STAIRS. 

I put my head down on the desk for a moment and tried not to cry.  Yeah.  Big baby.  My legs were tired.  I was so.  Hungry. 

I considered, for a moment, taking the elevator down one floor, but that would be ridiculous, even for me. But I considered it.

I went downstairs and got a spork, climbed the stairs again to my office, and ate my space meal, which amounted to a bowl full of barely flavored low-fat high protein nutrients with some flavoring. And then, inexplicably, I wanted some cheese popcorn.  But that will have to wait.

I've heard that you should carefully examine your cravings and they will tell you what nutrients your body is missing.  I've decided that is a bullshit excuse for people to give into their cravings. 

There is no reason for my body to crave most of the things that it craves.  There are no "missing" nutrients for me in coconut m&ms, cheese popcorn, a cherry coke, or fried ANYTHING.  None.  is my body short on oil?  How about carbon dioxide?  salt?  Nope, none of those things. 

I will accept that I have cravings for Advil and protein, but that's about it.  And maybe breading.



  1. LOL! I ALWAYS crave dill pickle spears. So much for my protein intake.

    Have you tried the Annie Chun's bowls? I like them, but I haven't tried Simply Asia yet.

  2. I have my doubts about those food cravings too, especially the corn oil/high fructose corn syrup filled ones (except that maybe you are just craving calories of any sort). I just looked back at my food log from the period of time when I had high mileage and I craved carbs very seriously. I'd eat my normal low calorie meals of meat or eggs and salad, veggies, etc and then wolf down hummus, risotto, yogurt with fruit and nuts. I almost went comatose on croissants one night (seriously, I ate two croissants with butter and jam and passed out). I guess I just needed the extra calories.

    Anyway, check out Devon's post Of course what works for an elite runner may or may not work for you.

    Enjoy your training!


  3. I have been there! FYI, I love cheese popcorn but had to get it out of my house. I would just eat the whole bag. Now, if I could just get rid of the Salt n Vinegar chips!

  4. Salt...chocolate....almond/peanut butter. I try to eat less grain carbs during the week (oatmeal/quinoa flakes and dry popcorn are allowed) and then I go nuts on the weekend with reduced fat chips/crackers, some cookies, and Arctic Zero - hey, if you can do whey, there's a protein source for you. (having to eat gluten-free helps some in just how nuts I can go, but I'm creative and resourceful so it's not that much of a barrier ) I wonder if I stopped eating grain if I'd stop craving it. I've had to be on some special diets, and if I can get through 2-3 weeks, cravings seem to subside. But it's all soooo good. I'm curious, in your previous post you'd said SB has you eating something like 130g of protein a day - is that b/c of your incredible mileage? I know for me that'd be 1g/pound, and the rough guidelines I use (with my so-much-lower training) are to take 1/3-2/3 your weight in pounds and eat that many g of protein. I aim for about 1/2 - so 65g - but am wondering if I should up it to help recovery and endurance and healing. My dad is being given extra protein via drink to help leg ulcers heal. I salute you for getting utensils - I might have gone with the pens or my fingers. I'm no longer vegetarian, but one of the sites I read you might like is nomeatathlete - maybe they'd have some ideas for you.

  5. The mileage, yes, and the endurance-tolerating tissues I need. My winter and spring were pretty lax on training, so I most likely lost a lot of muscle. If you don't use it, you lose it, they say.

  6. Anonymous11:40 AM

    those coconut M&Ms are better than crack!!! 64 miles in a week. SHEESH!!!


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