What goes in is more than what goes out

It’s amazing how much difference two pounds can make.

It doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re 5’0”, it feels like more than you’d think.  I’d be willing to bet that most people indulge in an excess of high GI foods over the holidays.  I’m no exception.  While I’m not one to count calories or watch what I eat, I generally gravitate towards a healthy diet. I feel better when I eat better. So that’s what I do, and I’ve been the same height and within the same 5lb weight range since the 6th grade.

I’ve always been athletic and I am well in-tune with my body. How am I feeling?  Why do I feel the way I do?  What I usually find is that I can trace any abnormalities back to something I’d eaten.  It amazes me just how tied in our bodies are with what we put into them.  I feel very lucky to have access to our dining halls (I don’t really know why people complain, there are so many healthy options already prepared for me that are 10 times better than anything I could ever make for myself). When I’m out in the world, eating right becomes less clear cut.

I came back to school early after break for mid-season training with the swim team.  The first day back we had team fitness testing.  I’d spent the last week eating junk in substantial quantities and not doing a whole lot of moving.  I was not surprised when my scores on the tests and performance over the first few days of training reflected this.  I felt lethargic, weak, and generally heavy (particularly on the pull-up part).  I had plenty of excess fuel to burn, but two extra pounds on top of my natural body weight to carry.  On top of that, I just felt sick – I had a constant headache and my stomach literally hurt.  I can’t imagine feeling that way all the time and I don’t understand why so many people allow themselves to.

It’s taken until now of eating like I normally do for me to feel “right” again.  This experience and the previous lecture really hammered it home to me that we are more than just garbage disposals for organic material.  What we put in matters – what we put into ourselves is the fuel for what we are able to get from our bodies.  It’s more than just what we get out.

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2 Responses to What goes in is more than what goes out

  1. I thought you might be interested in reading this interview with Sonnie Trotter called the “Dirtbag Gourmet,” about how his and Alex Honnold’s eating habits are the complete opposite, yet they are both considered to be some of the best climbers in the world.

    http://www.adventure-journal.com/2011/12/dirtbag-gourmet-sonnie-trotter-is-the-anti-alex-honnold/

  2. You are so right about the vast effect of food. My first semester at Colby I never worried about putting on the freshman 15 — and I didn’t. I thought that I could eat whatever I wanted because I was going to run it off anyways. I gained no weight and I looked no different, but I got sick eight times that semester. Three viruses, strep, and colds. I was so unhealthy at the end of the semester that the last virus I got sent me home a week early with a high fever. It took me a long time to connect my awful health with my horrendous diet. I was eating enough for three people and nowhere near the variety of foods that I needed. Think Michael Phelps. I am much more conscious about my food choices this year and God, I feel and perform so much better!

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