Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Constant craving....


I have been suffering from a serious case of the rungries lately. Do you know them? When you just can't get enough and need to eat all the food? I'm in training for a half marathon, and have stepped up my training a bit. And I'm HUNGRY. Seriously hungry. All the time.

Actually, a yesterday was a speed work day...
Now in case you're worried about me, well, don't. I eat quite well. Breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. I have a snack drawer at work, stocked with emergency snacks, like almonds and Luna bars. But tonight at dinner, I went back for a second helping of the chicken and dumplings my husband made for dinner. And then I cleaned his bowl. And my son's bowl. My husband says it isn't fair that I can eat all the time and he just smells food and gains weight. Maybe he should run!

Anyways, it's really bad. My office is across the street from this place:

Like the lure of the siren's song...
Chicagoans well know the lure of Portillos. The food is really, really good here. I swear that Portillos sends out smoke signals of hamburgers and french fries to suck customers in. And it smells so good. Damn that easterly wind. Twice in the last week, I've been walking to the parking garage after work and had to smell the food. It took every ounce of self control I had not to turn around and head in the opposite direction towards Portillos. I kid you not. The smell was almost hypnotic. This is so out of character for me. You know I can't eat beef. Yet, I'm willing to sacrifice my GI tract for a Portillo's Italian beef sandwich. I know what would happen if I gave in. Yet, I struggle as I head towards my car.

Left brain: Must go home. Husband making dinner. Healthy meal at home. Beef gives you diarrhea. Garage is this way.

Right brain: But...Portillo's...smells so good...go back....must have grease...


The struggle is real.

I will admit that, for the most part, I do eat a healthy diet. I don't gorge on junk food. I don't restrict myself, but I do eat smart. I do leave room for the things I like, like chocolate and bacon (not together). Ben and Jerry's Karamel Sutra. Bolthouse Farms' Chocolate Protein Shakes (I wrote a post on these magical drinks). But I eat a lot of salads. I've always prided myself on my self control. Lately, though, it's taking me a lot of restraint. When I read Eat and Run by Scott Jurek, I kept thinking to myself, how does he do all that running on a vegan diet? Doesn't he get hungry? Is chocolate vegan?

And let's face it. When you need to eat all the food, what do you reach for? A bowl of broccoli? Maybe Scott Jurek does. And if you do, kudos to you!

For the rest of us, what's a health-minded runner to do when struck with a case of the rungries? Because even worse than the rungries is overdoing it on crappy food, right?


Think about it. We all do it. Overindulge on food or drink, even though we have a long run the next day. I've seen your posts. I may even have posted a few of these myself. It's not a good feeling the day after a splurge, especially if you're going out for a run. Maybe it's a sluggish feeling in the legs. Your get up and go has gone up and went. Maybe it's burping or gas. Even worse, the old "I'll be stopping"--and you'd better hope that a portapotty is available. Either that, or you'll want to wear some Depends. Pray to get through this post overindulgence run intact. And promise that we'll never do it again. Until the next time...

So what's a runner to do? How to overcome temptation? Besides changing jobs? Really, that isn't logical. And imagine me telling people why I left my employer...because I couldn't resist the Portillo's across the street?

Here are 5 tips that I recommend to avoid temptation and those cravings:



  1. Just keep walking away. Willpower is one of my superpowers. I'm committed to running and working out. I extend that commitment to eating healthy too. As hard as it is, I just keep on walking.
  2. Drink lots of water. All day long. I keep a glass of water next to me in my cubby at work. Sometimes when you think you're hungry, you're actually thirsty. Water does a great job of curbing those feelings. 
  3. Eat healthy snacks. I keep a bag of almonds in my office and when I get hungry, I eat a handful. It's amazing how well that little snack curbs my appetite. I don't know what your office is like, but there is always food at mine. Cake, cookies, crap...
  4. Bring your lunch to work. You have so much more control over what you eat if you bring your own food to work than if you visit the cafeteria, or worse...Portillo's. Did I mention they have amazing chocolate cake too?
  5. Indulge yourself but don't beat yourself up over it. I do eat at Portillo's once in a while. Yep, french fries and all. Just don't do it on a regular basis.

BTW, the title of this post is taken from a song by kd lang. I don't think she was singing about Portillo's, tho...



I'm linking this post with the Fit Dish and The Fit Switch!
And Tuesdays on the Run! with MCM mama, Run the Great Wide Somewhere, and My No-Guilt Life!

48 comments :

  1. I have been SO rungry lately!!! I have been trying my best to choose healthy options but even when I do I tend to over indulge in them. I need to strengthen my will power muscle for sure!

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  2. Ha. Rungry is one of my words. I feel that way All. The. Time. I just found my latest willpower breaking food...sweet potato biscuits. I can't tell you how good they are, and I'm not a big bread eater -- they are made mostly out of sweet potatoes, at least that's what I tell myself. Great tips.

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    1. Sounds southern to me! I've never heard of them, which is probably a good thing! I do love sweet potatoes, tho. Just think about all the anti-oxidants you're getting!

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  3. #5! Totally agree. If we get it right 95% of the time, a little indulgence is just fine. And I'd argue healthy, b/c it makes us feel good to do so now and again. Great post.

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    1. When I see people "giving up sugar" and the like, I always think to myself, that's a recipe for disaster. As I always preach, everything in moderation...

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  4. I am hungry all the time even on days when I don't run. Go figure. Good thing I work because when I am home, I am more tempted to snack. Yes, I do indulge. I always have dessert when I am in a restaurant. I try not buy sweets at home.

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    1. You have to indulge. Otherwise you would eat all the food!

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  5. I smiled when I read the title of your post. Ha, ha. Yes I don't think KD was singing about Portillo's. Anyway, I just dropped my weekly mileage from about 60 to 30 and gained five pounds this week. I realize that I can't still be a glutton (cookies, candy) on more normal mileage. Even at my higher mileage I was still 7 pounds over my "race weight". I have to learn how to have some willpower but it's super hard. :)

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    1. Isn't that amazing? It's hard to slow down on the food when we're not running as much!

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  6. I well know that hypnotic Portillo's smell. I haven't had one of their beefs in ages....

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    1. Hypnotic truly sums it up...I feel like it is calling me home...

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  7. My hunger level has gone up this week and it's making me nuts! I am trying to eat fruit as snacks, but I've been having a second helping at dinner, too ;)

    Scott Jurek's diet (and any elite, even ones who eat meat) always seem SO small to me. They just must be efficient, little engines. But! You can run a lot on a vegan diet, and not be hungry, and the good chocolate (dark) is vegan ;) I have been doing the vegan thing for over four years and have never run as much as I do now!

    I've heard people rave about Portillo's but never understood it (cause I've never eaten meat since I've known about it). Even my brother loves to go when he visits from Iowa!

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    1. Out of all the 'fast food' places, it is the best. I do love meat, and I couldn't be vegan or vegetarian. But I'm really cautious about what I eat because most of the time, you don't know what is in our food supply.

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  8. Luckily I do not work at a office setting so there are not tempting restaurants by me. I am so sick of airport food though. I do try to pack my own food so I can control more of what I am eating.

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  9. I am hungry all the time, regardless of running. #thestruggleisrealandmymetabolismsucks LOL!

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    1. I feel more hungry than usual. Maybe it's a winter thing?

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  10. I try to eat healthy most of the time, I do what you do I keep almonds, and healthy things in my bag and try to choose them before I take a piece of chocolate or something else lol However, there are times where I eat and still want the piece of chocolate, so I just eat it.
    It's funny since I have been running regularly, I haven't experienced the rungry much, that seems to motivate me to eat healthier, since i have been injured I am suddenly having crazy cravings...ugh.

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    1. Oooh, that's tough! It's hard to eat less after eating a lot because you've been running!

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  11. Wendy, I do think bringing my lunch to work every day is a huge help; we have a fantastic cafeteria (and they make delicious hamburgers and fries everyday at the grill) in the hospital, so if I'm not prepared it's a huge temptation. I can totally relate!!

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  12. I feel like I ALWAYS have the Runrgies! Even when I am not training very hard haha. It a long standing joke that I run to eat!

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  13. oh you make me laugh! I think it's worse in the winter when you just crave warm yummy stuff. I am a choc vegetarian by the way- :)

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    1. I like that...choc vegetarian...seems like a pretty good compromise!

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  14. Ok, so just for the record....bacon and chocolate together......AMAZING :)

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  15. I can't eat beef either, I knew I liked you! I figure if I am 90/95% good that other 5/10% just keeps things moving! :) Sometimes you have to give in just a little, good for the soul! Great post funny lady!

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  16. Yep, this is me.... and I love the picture of eating things now so I won't be tempted to eat them later.. LOL ... Where did you find that photo of me? ;)

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    1. Do you have to keep straightening the edge on the cake or the brownies? Keep cutting off pieces to make it even? LOL...

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  17. I love how you pride yourself on willpower. I have never heard that perspective from someone, and I love it! Rockstar. Thanks so much for the inspiration. Just keep walking. ; ) And, rungries are legit! Take care!

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    1. My parents might not have loved it, but being strong willed has its' perks!

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  18. Sometimes when my blood sugar is low, I get a little excited because it means I have to eat ALL the things and high in carbs to get that sugar back up. Silver lining of being Diabetic ;)

    Jen@jpabstfitness

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  19. I was just thinking on my run this morning how incredibly hungry I have been and no matter how much I eat, I'm hungry again in 2 hours. It's so annoying!!! I don't have time to forage for food constantly lol. I read Eat and Run recently and had the same thought. I guess bean burritos can be kind of filling - he seemed to eat those a lot. But no cheese? Seriously?

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  20. Willpower is a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets..... I love that!

    My rungries aren't AS bad now that I don't log those 20-mile training runs, but some days... Oh my!

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  21. It's a little scary when I get rungry! I have made great strides with bringing homemade soup to work for lunch to avoid the noon temptation to grab something from a restaurant. Thanks for linking up with us today!

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    1. I had 2 servings of pasta tonight! Bring on the FOOD!

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  22. I think most of us runners can relate to this! Your tips are great. I agree that drinking water helps. And I like to remind myself how I feel after I eat something that's not good for me.

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    1. I finally am feeling better after my beef binge. I need to remember this.

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  23. I'll see your rungry and raise you a hangry. And I used to have that beef issue - but still occasionally ate it despite the regret afterwards. My 2nd pregnancy took that issue away and I'm quite thankful as I've been craving beef lately.

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    1. I do eat beef on occasion. In fact, I had a big ole ribeye after I ran the Chicago marathon last fall. As long as I limit it, I'm fine. But that hasn't been the case lately!

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  24. I had to pop back in to make a second comment after "Portillo's" came up a dinner tonight! My son just happened to mentioned how much he loved the Italian beef at Portillo's when he visited Chicago a couple of years ago. I thought, "Isn't that the place, Wendy just mentioned..." and pulled up this post. Sure enough it is!

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