Why I Run: To Eat

Why I Run - To Eat

Since I became a runner, finding the perfect caloric intake has been hard. Some days, I’m as hungry as Pac-Man, while others, I find myself grazing on a few snacks here and there, completely content.

I mean, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I was fat for so long for a number of reasons, and one of the main ones is because I love to eat.

I love food. More than almost anything else. I love tasty things. I love fruit, and I love sugar. I love savory treats, and I love ooey-gooey, decadent meals. I love hunks of meat on my plate, and I love colorful salads. I love protein bars in new flavors, and I love the smell of a freshly opened back of Funyuns.

I love food so much. So much. And that’s why I run. A lot. 

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Matthew Inman at The Oatmeal said it best: “They say you should treat your body like a temple. I treat mine like a fast moving dumpster.

I’m not quite that bad. I’m more along the lines of this panel from that comic. I’m the trained circus animal who gets a treat whenever he does a trick.

The Oatmeal - The Feeding

I may not be eating Cheezer YumYums after a run, but like Inman, I take no joy in dieting. Because dieting doesn’t work. Dieting only sets you up for disappointment and failure.

I make sure that I run enough that I can eat damn well whatever I want whenever I want. That means I’m always hungry. I eat at 6 am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, and 6pm. Every day. Sometimes I get even more snacks in between those, too.

Because I am always hungry.

Running ramps up my metabolism so much that unless I keep food in my belly at all times, I am cranky and pretty much impossible to be around.

And the great thing is that I love to eat. So that’s awesome. I don’t have to eat tasteless garbage like Soylent. I don’t have to force myself to chug protein shake after protein shake just to fill out my macros.

I get to eat fruit and Graze snacks and wild salmon sandwiches and peanut butter on sourdough and hamburgers and pretzel crust pizzas and sweet potato numminess and piles of eggs and Quest bars and Builder bars and anything else I damn well please. Because I like it.

Because I earned it. I am not eating to fill some emotional gap. I am not eating because food can’t disappoint me. I am not eating because I have nothing else in my life. I am not eating because I have to because some diet plan told me to.

I am eating because I’m hungry. Because I am literally fueling myself. Because I legitimately love to eat.

And because I love to eat (and I need to eat because I need nutrients and such to fuel my body), I get to fully enjoy myself by eating pretty much anything that I enjoy–and because I enjoy pretty much everything, being a runner has made this former fat guy’s life pretty much awesome.

Slippery Slope

Now, as much as I love to eat, it can be a slippery slope to run just to eat. It can be unhealthy. It can lead to eating disorders and binges. It can lead to an unhealthy obsession with caloric intake, and it can lead to a skewed view of food and calories and pleasure/pain responses.

I do still look at a donut and think “I’d have to run three miles to burn that off.” But that’s okay. Because I’ll be running those three miles anyway. I am not eating and then trying to up the amount I run to account for it–I used to, and it sucked.

But after three years of being a runner and two years at my goal weight, I think I’ve finally pushed through that mess. It was hard, and I won’t deny it.

Now, I just run. I run as much as I want to. And I eat when I’m hungry.

I don’t so much worry about the weight loss aspect of it. I don’t worry about a +/- few pounds any more. Since I switched my mindset out of maintenance mode, my weight hasn’t fluctuated as much.

Because I don’t run because I eat. I eat because I run.

Tell Me, FitGeeks, Why Do You Run?

B.J. Keeton

B.J. Keeton

B.J. is a geek, gamer, podcaster, and livestreamer. He has been the co-host of the Geek to Geek podcast since 2016, and he helped start the Geek to Geek Media Network. His biggest pet peeve is when someone spells Wookiee with only one E. One time, he told his friends he liked vegetables maybe more than he did Star Wars, and they made him put a dollar in the jar. That should tell you everything you need to know about him. Find him on Twitter as @professorbeej or on Discord as @professorbeej#1337.

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  1. Des @ Finding the Skinny Geek Within

    I run only when chased now. Or chasing a tennis ball. Running isn’t my thang. I tried though but I just didn’t like it. I never felt that runners high or any joy so now I just stick with what I do like. 🙂

    • B.J. Keeton

      Running isn’t for everyone. I found I loved it after a long time, but wasn’t sure if I’d ever get there. I do think fitness is all about what you like and can keep you moving.

      I’m with you on tennis–I love it. we moved into an apartment complex last year that has its own court, and its awesome. We haven’t really played too much, though, since we both run more often, but I like having the option. This year, I’m sure we will. 🙂

  2. Ashley

    I can’t run anymore due to a really bad accident 5 years ago. I do however do daily workouts ( 21 Day Fix and Jillian Micheal’s ) , as well as taking my little one on walks. I’m also on my feet constantly at my job ( Nurse ). Wish I could still run. Love this post 🙂

    • B.J. Keeton

      Oh, Ashley, that’s too bad! But if you’re up and moving around, that counts for a lot. I have gone through a couple of injury cycles myself over the past few years, and I know finding other ways to stay moving has kept me sane, even when I am on my feet all day at work, too (teacher).

  3. Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner

    learning to know when your body is truly hungry and feeding it the nutrients it needs is key for sure. All this working out does make me hungry all the time too.

    • B.J. Keeton

      Funny, I just left a very similar reply back at your place, hah! I try to keep my eye on nutrients, but occasionally, I like to just funnel garbage into my mouth and see how I feel. 😉 #yaybeingarunner


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