This article that went viral really resonated with me. It made so much sense. Graduating with a degree in health, we learned the majority of people in America are medically overweight. It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. The majority of Americans aren’t running and exercising like they should be. That is why over half of Americans are overweight and 1/3 are obese.
That isn’t the case of the majority of runners. Most runners are not overweight. Many people begin running to lose weight, find out they really like to run and are hooked. Do you know what? That’s awesome. That is so awesome you began running to lose weight. Now you’ve lost weight and are living a healthier lifestyle. To each person that shares that common factor, I couldn’t be happier for you.
There is a sub section of athletes that take running and nutrition to the extreme. Whether you started running to lose weight or whether you want to continue to improve your time. Nutrition is one of the key factors to running well. You can’t run a marathon at your full potential fueled by Doritos. Similarly, you can’t run a marathon to your full potential under fueled.
Something I found extremely interesting was that eating disorders and disordered eating are extremely prevalent at a college level. I saw this first hand in college as well as post college (when I worked at a college). I saw several athletes dropping too much weight during season and PRing the entire cross country season. Only to arrive at the championship race, underfueled and both mentally and physically exhausted. It resulted in having the worst race of their season at the championship level. It ended the season on heart break and most often an injury or two.
Eating disorders are almost nonexistent at an elite level. Why is that? You cannot reach your full potential by under eating and not fueling appropriately.
If an elite runner eats a more nutritious but identifiable diet, then why can’t a standard person or a sub elite athlete? There isn’t a secret to becoming a faster runner, a more toned athlete or living a healthier lifestyle. We don’t need the “latest and greatest” or “recently discovered” most nutritious food. Most elite athletes aren’t counting calories or worried about too many carbohydrates and calories. Both men and women at the elite level are more worried about not enough calories.
I think part of the issue stems that America is very much a for profit society. Our healthy insurance coverage proves that. Marketing companies prove that. We as a society are lured into trying the “latest and greatest” foods. Meanwhile Kenyans far continuously produce the top distance runners fueled on oatmeal and high calorie tea.
What are your thoughts? Are we as a society to wrapped up in quick fixes?