I wanted to post something this morning, as I'm off home this afternoon for a couple of days and don't know if I'll have a chance to blog, and didn't want to be silent until the weekend. I've only really got two things to talk about today, both realisations I've had this week - one bad, the other good.
The bad realisation I've had involves the state of my diet. As well as my running target last week, I also wanted to really try and pay more attention to what I was eating, as my dieting wasn't as effective as it had been, and my exercising wasn't having quite the same impact. Also, with money an increasing concern, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone, and really look at what I was buying and eating by holding on to my receipts for the week.
Well, let's just say I have been eating FAR more junk than I was admitting to myself. My standard food shop is actually pretty healthy and budget friendly, but what became apparent on going through my receipts is all the little extras and 'treats' that have snuck in. When I go to the supermarket I do my normal shop, but there are several additions that have no business being in there. If I've been exercising, I'll treat myself to some chocolate or ice-cream. I'll buy some carb-heavy processed junk food 'just for today'. I'll buy a pack of candy 'just for now and then', but the truth is I'll graze on them all day, and they won't last until the next. What is worse, all these additions have been sneaking under my 'calorie radar', and when I try to tally up how many calories I think I've eating on a given day, I'll often severely underestimate the impact all these 'little extras' have been having.
Well, not any more! Now I'm aware of it, I can start trying to deal with it. I think what I need to do, rather than eat whatever I want and then try to add up the calories at the end of the day, is to allocate myself a calorie limit every morning. Each meal will be subtracted from this total, and when its gone, I'm not allowed to eat anymore. That's the best way I can think of to actually keep track of how many calories are in each meal, where the extras are coming from, and what foods work best for my diet.
On a more positive note, I have rediscovered the joys of the early-morning run. I started running in the afternoon during my marathon week, as then I had slightly longer before the next run the following evening. Well, last night I couldn't (and didn't) sleep at all, so when it got to 5am, I decided to just go out for a run, before the commuter traffic hit. And it was wonderful! I always used to run at dawn in the past, and even said that I preferred it, way back at the start of the blog. But recently, I've only been going out in the evening.
It just feels fantastic, exercising first thing - the air is fresh and clear, there's nobody about and you feel like the city is yours, you start your day off actively and positively, and to see the sky pale as I pound the streets just makes me feel so much more alive than an evening run into ever-deepening gloom. It literally is a new day dawning, and its great for motivation. I plan on trying to make my runs early-morning as much as I can from hereon out.
Anyway, that's it! I'm going to try and exercise while I'm at home too, which will mean going back to old routes I haven't run in years. I've already said how I tend to binge when I go home, so I'm really going to have to watch that. I'll update again at the weekend, to let you know how I've done!