I’ve touched on the topic of my eating disorder before, but haven’t done the best at writing about my therapy sessions and my ongoing struggles with food. I did awesome during the month of June with working out and eating a mostly balanced diet. There were times when I would splurge on a milkshake every now and then and I would still eat at a restaurant on date night, but I never ate bad food with a binge mentality. I ate it, it was good, I worked out the next morning, no big deal. I didn’t sit and think about the food and crave the food and feel out of control while eating. If you have ever experienced binge eating or had a binge problem then you can relate to the difference between a binge and overeating.
It is summer, I’ve overate quite a few times but haven’t ragged on myself about it and I’m looking pretty good in photos and my clothes fit nicely so I’m not over the top worried about it. I would never pass up a s’more. Yesterday morning I was running stadiums at the track to “warm up” before taking a yoga class and my stomach got the best of me, causing me to leave a nice present on the bleachers. It was slightly scary, but I knew it was a result of eating chips and Oreos the night before. I realized it was a result of overeating and trying to compensate with exercise. Bad combination, for sure.
I’m not sure if getting sick caused me to not feel hungry all day yesterday or if my body was still full from a weekend of bad eating, but I was not hungry at all yesterday. I felt fine and did not think that much about it. After looking back at what little I had to eat yesterday, I can only count about 750 calories that I consumed if even that. Plus I ran in the morning, did a yoga class, and did 2 miles later in the afternoon.
For breakfast this morning I made some whole grain toast with sugar free jelly, a turkey sausage patty, and some scrambled eggs. My body wasn’t full on starving, but it was definitely growling from the instant I woke up. My lovely friend Yvonne texted me to see if I was up for a longer morning walk. I haven’t walked with her since starting summer school and I wouldn’t turn down the chance to exercise.
We went a little later in the morning due to time constraints but I was excited since higher temps equals more sweat. We all know I love a good sweat. The day was perfect. We walked down Little Chestnut Hill then back up Big Chestnut Hill before hitting the trail. Walking always goes by much faster when you have a friend to talk with. At the end of the bike trail, we stopped at a local store to use the bathroom and get some water from the fountain. My mouth was parched! We were about a half a mile away from her house when I started to feel light headed. The asphalt seemed to spin and I couldn’t even focus. I didn’t say anything to Yvonne until we headed up Little Chestnut and I thought I was going to pass out. I started telling her that I needed water and something sugary. At the top of the hill, the heat, the lack of calories, and dehydration sat in and I had to lay down in the road. I couldn’t stand and my ears were ringing. I asked if she could run to the house and get something to drink or something to eat for me. I laid down for what felt like forever before finally feeling slightly better (and embarrassed) and I slowly got up to go back to Yvonne’s house. She was jumping in the car as I hit the driveway and she gave me a huge jug of water and a hot biscuit. I never felt so relieved to have air conditioning and to eat and drink in my life.
I was still slightly light headed once I got back home, but not near as bad as I was on the road. Looking back, I can’t pinpoint if it was the heat/humidity, dehydration, or under-eating, but it was a scary experience and a valuable lesson. Even though I had a somewhat large breakfast, I still did not consume near enough calories yesterday and even if under-eating wasn’t today’s issue, it is still dangerous. Like I said, under-eating may have not even been the issue, but this episode certainly made me stop and think about the hazards of not eating enough.
From now on I will not make the mistake of not eating enough even if it means eating when I’m not hungry. This week has taught me the consequences of overeating as well as the negative effects of not consuming enough. Also, for me, using exercise to overcompensate for eating badly or eating too much is not a good idea. Everyone is different and only you know your body, but both types of eating can be hazardous to us. Balance is always best.
Have you ever experienced negative effects of either overeating or under-eating? Have you ever nearly passed out during a run or walk? What is your favorite thing to refuel with after exercise?