Hungry Lion Hunts Best

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I’m standing in the checkout line looking nervous as hell. k2-_91897ae6-dbec-4d3f-a9db-308ededc49cf.v1
Why should I be nervous?
I’m not doing anything wrong. Hell, a dollar and 98 cents was a steal so I’m definitely not doing anything wrong.
The line moves along. “You find everything ok?” the checkout girl asks. I nod and pay before I walk eagerly to my car. After I put the groceries in the back seat I look around again.
Why do I keep doing this?
I sit and contemplate my next move. My hunger is growing with every second as I think about what is in the back seat.
I look around one more time.
Just one scoop.
I turn around and pull out the small jar of crunchy peanut butter that has been marked down to $1.98. I turn the lid slowly as I think about the consequences of what I’m doing.
I have big dreams and I’ve come a long way.
Just one scoop.
I fight the urge for a few more seconds before I open the seal and gouge out a big glob of crunchy goodness.
Pure Heaven.
The feeling is short lived and I quickly have an urge to eat more.
Instead, I close the jar and put it in seat next to me to start the shameful drive home.

I shared this story of Wednesday’s trip to the grocery store in order to illustrate a harsh reality.
Dieting is HARD.
For me, it is a necessary part of training. I have a bigger build for a distance runner and love food.
Naturally this makes for a terrible combination.
Although I weigh roughly 160 pounds and run between 50 and 80 miles a week (depending on the time of year) I still struggle with weight.
“But you’re not fat!” says my Grandparents and other relatives.
True, but every pound adds up. My coach always offers to bring out a 10 pound plate for anyone to run around with for a few miles if they object to his suggestions to lose weight.

This season I decided to make a push for getting down to a good weight. I opened my season with a terrible 1500 meter time and after talking with my coach it became clear that I had to make some drastic changes. The last time I had made a big push for weight loss was in high school. From my junior to senior year I went from 172 pounds to 158 pounds. This resulted in some really nice PR’s and a trip to the State Track Meet.

It has been a struggle like no other. That being said, it has also served as a valuable learning experience. I now have great respect for anyone that is making an honest effort to lose weight. It doesn’t matter if you are 300 pounds and trying to lose a lot of weight, or a wrestler trying to drop a few pounds to make a weight class.
Dieting is hard any level.
Another positive side effect is my new appreciation for good, healthy food. I already have a healthy diet but my track season diet is more about cutting calories than changing the type of food.
As made evident by the opening story, my kryptonite is peanut butter. Unfortunately, my beloved peanut butter is dense in calories and full of fat and sugar.
The night of the grocery store trip, I had to leave the peanut butter in the car to avoid temptation. I came in and told some of the guys my story and we all had a good laugh.

I love peanut butter but you know what I love more?
Running fast.
I would give it up for 8 more weeks if I knew it would bring me closer to my goal.

My next race is at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday and I’m hungry. Not for peanut butter, but for something more.

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