As a runner we always had pasta nights and carb loaded the night before races in high school. All I had ever known is that you need carbs to help your body to perform the next day.
In college…..well let’s just say Carbs stop being your friend. Why? Honestly I have no idea. All I can say is we had one girl on the team who has celiacs disease which means she can’t eat gluten. Her body doesn’t process it, if she does eat gluten it’s detrimental to her. But for some odd reason one by one people started to get the brilliant idea to be gluten free even though they don’t have celiacs disease. Basically if you have celiacs disease you cannot eat wheat. Well wheat is in bread and wheat is a carbohydrate.
Gluten free foods still contain carbohydrates. You see when an entire team doesn’t have a nutritionist major among us well we tend to mix things up. Yes, gluten and carbohydrates go hand in hand.
Maybe it was because at the time it was cool to be gluten free. I can only speculate at this point but, all I can tell you is that carbohydrates such as pasta and bread were seen as bad. Slowly girls stopped eating them.
Carbs somehow were the enemy……..the enemy for runners…..( yes, collegiate runners).
I have been fortune to have lived with several girls throughout the last 6 years and yes, with the exception of one year, I roomed with all runners.
One thing I’ve noticed about myself that can be seen as a good thing and a bad thing is that I actually pick up other people’s habits that I live with. And yes, that means eating habits so if my roommate loves eating zucchini trust me my zucchini intake goes up.Just like if my roommate’s carb intake decreases and there’s not that much carbs in the house….well guess who’s carb intake lowers?Mine.
There’s Pros and Cons to rooming with runners and non-runners.
For instance living with runners:
-you have someone who understands when you’re sore from running/working out
-you have a running buddy!
– someone you travel with to meets
-they understand your obsession with running
-they understand the runner life
-they go to bed around the same time as you
– you have similar schedules
-eating can become an issue
-competition can be too much
-always being around runners can sometimes make you go crazy
constantly comparing body parts
unhealthy obsession with weight
For me personally….the eating thing can become a problem. I’ve had roommates that I kid you not, would count out 6 pieces of pretzels to eat for snack and skip dinner. I’ve had a roommate who honestly it was a rare sighting when she ate carbs such as bread and pasta like as rare as seeing a blue moon ( which happens once every 2.7 years) I’m basically saying she ate those carbs once every 2 years and for someone that’s a runner (okay, so it was more like every 6 months she would eat those carbs)…….it’s concerning.
Yet, I would find myself sitting next to my roommates looking at our dinners. Dissecting how all our dinners were different. We each made our own dinners. Mine would always seem to have more food on my plate and I would have carbs compared to one of my roommates.
It actually got to a point where I became uncomfortable eating food around one of them. I’m not even joking I would purposely eat food at different times than her.
The truth is I had no idea that I was slowly phasing out carbs. It wasn’t until one of my roommates who loves carbs, commented on how I haven’t been eating pasta lately. She made me ponder on when was the last time I’d eaten pasta. The truth was probably around 4 months. Which is not a good thing for someone who runs almost everyday.
I had to take a step back and become more aware of my surroundings and I realized that my thought process was the following :
-she’s not eating pasta so why am I?
-she’s not eating bread so why am I?
-she runs more mileage than me so why is it that I have carbs on my plate and she doesn’t?
– she doesn’t eat cereal so maybe I should limit my cereal intake.
I had inadvertently phased out carbs because it wasn’t really present in our pantry or our fridge except for my stuff.
It’s hard at times living with other runners because you start comparing yourselves to each other. It’s like she has rock hard abs…..she doesn’t eat carbs so maybe if I stop eating carbs I will get abs too! ( Totally messed up thought process, don’t start thinking like that, it’s toxic)
One thing I did notice in my 6 years of living with a bunch of roommates is this…….popcorn is low in carbs. I love popcorn but I noticed the girls with the major carb problem…..popcorn was the only carb they would eat and it wouldn’t suffice for someone who averages running 10 miles a day.
They would be on low carbs as much as possible so when I was shoving cookies in my mouth…or even had pasta I noticed popcorn was the solution for many girls on how to get some sort of carb into their bodies.
There are fruits and veggies that have carbohydrates but I came to the realization that we were all eating fruits and veggies which were low carbs.
That’s hard to handle at times. How do you be okay with eating certain foods that one of your roommates stopped eating? I understand the whole notion of eating clean but there’s a point when eating clean starts to go the other way. There becomes a danger zone.
I think for me one of the healthiest things I’ve done was I stopped living with runners. I no longer feel bad eating carbs. If I want a piece of cake, I’ll have a piece of cake. I eat everything in moderation that’s never been a problem for me but one problem that has occurred is the lack of eating carbs whenever I’m living with other runners.
Carbohydrates supply the body with glucose which then gives us energy. Carbs are friends and food, especially for runners.