Imagine. It’s a Saturday at your local rock gym. You’ve been busy doing some endurance training, climbing ‘up and downs’ and the like. You hate endurance training because people always think you’re climbing down because you’re scared but NO you’re climbing down for endurance training, and because you’re a horrible narcissist you have to loudly proclaim that after each route.
You have done three out of your five up and downs. Your forearms are pumped, you’re sweating like a pig, and the cute guy with the tattoos that’s probably a bad boy with a golden heart looks extra annoyed that you took up an auto belay for twenty minutes. So much for a meet-cute.
Suddenly, a delectable aroma wafts to your nostrils. It is what you both love and fear. The garlic fries at your gym’s café. Like Helen of Troy or a Popeye’s chicken sandwich, wars have probably been waged over those garlic fries.
The dilemma. You have just done three of your five up and downs…an activity you greatly dislike but do for the sake of bettering your climbing and getting some calories burned. That would all be wasted for a basket of those fries. Yes. A terrible, terrible waste. You run to your sister, who just came off a route.
“I hurt my pinky let’s get some garlic fries.”
You get garlic fries. The end.
The moral of this story. I will go to great lengths and commit the sin of falsehood (that’s a sin, right?) just to eat yummy food. If there’s one thing that you can probably guess, it’s that you don’t choose the moniker @chubbygirlclimbing because you ate too many bananas, you feel me?
Food has always been my weakness. I can get myself to exercise, in fact, I mostly enjoy it (not including up and downs). But food…emotionally and physically satisfying, smell-good food…I know how to eat.
The most common advice I get is to eat more filling foods, for I won’t be hungry later. Lean meats, vegetables, etc. you can eat a ton of with little guilt and it takes up room in your belly.
Well, honey, that would work fine if I stopped eating just because I was FULL. More often than not, when I eat badly it’s not due to being hungry but due to some other inner void. It’s like I don’t want to miss out on the food. FOMO for food.
Now, what has helped me slightly is intermittent fasting. For some reason, if I have a set guideline (like I’m only allowed to eat between 12 and 8) then I pretty strictly follow that guideline. It’s even more effective when I have an app telling me to start and end fasting. I let computers lead pretty blindly. I’ll be a good slave when they take over.
The hiccup of this method is that I tend to feel like I can eat twice as much when I am in my “eating period.” More food FOMO.
But my mindset changed yesterday, when I had a friend say something fairly profound. (I say fairly because she was several shots of tequila into the night, so I feel a lot of the credit goes to José Cuervo.)
She said I should stop thinking of food and dieting as a technique to lose weight and start thinking of it as fuel or power for my climbing. “You’re not trying to go pro but it’s something you care about and want to get better at so maybe that would be more motivation for you then looking skinny.”
Well, damn. That’s true. Wanting to look hot only takes me so far. I can always start my diet on Monday. I can always wear outfits that make me feel good at any size. There are people that love you at any size. But if it’s fuel we’re talking about…well let me tell you when I eat a basket of garlic fries and a greasy burger I’m not bouncing back on that wall again.
So, my challenge in the weeks to come (that you should hold me accountable to), is to think of food in how it will relate to my future, not how it will make me feel right now. Will this bagel give me enough power to get up that 5.11 project I’ve been working on? Maybe the chicken breast will be a better choice. Can an iced brownie perform that V3 overhang for me? No, but maybe a hearty omelet can.
That, and I probably need to start wearing nose plugs to the gym. That café is too good.