Food vs. Fuel

Happy Friday!

So, I wanted to consider a topic today that’s been kind of bugging me this week.  It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and so there’s been bunches of blog posts this week about food, eating disorders and the like.  Some of them have been really awesome.  Some of them…I wasn’t in love.  In particular, I encountered a blog with a link to a tumblr about the “food is fuel” idea. One image in particular struck me as odd.

So, is food just fuel?

Well, yes…and no. There are times when food should be thought about only in terms of fuel, but to me, they are few and far between.  The gels you consume during a race or a long run, that is fuel. You’re not eating to enjoy it, you’re eating it because you have got to eat *something*. Probably, you don’t even want it because those things tend to be kind of nasty. Though, lately, I’ve been using those Honey Stinger gels and they kind of taste like honey and delicious things.

Your workout and runs need “fuel” and probably what you eat right afterwards is fuel, especially if it was a tough/long one.  After my 19 mile run last weekend, I was feeling a little nauseous, so I stopped by the Fresh Market and grabbed a few of those Naked smoothies.  I figured it would be decent calories (but lots of them), and they have some high protein ones.  I tried a mango one, which was kind of nasty and gritty, and a chocolate-banana one which was super awesome. SO CHOCOLATY.

There are some other occasions that I’m sure it would be beneficial to think this way (maybe a long day at work, marathon study session, whatever), but here’s the real question I have.  Why can’t we enjoy our food sometimes? Is that so wrong?

Like, you know, cake

Like, you know, cake

Obviously, we shouldn’t eat delicious Disney World cakes every day (or maybe we should).  But I honestly think that if we weren’t meant to enjoy food it wouldn’t taste so stinkin’ good!

There has to be some middle ground out there. We don’t want to force ourselves into misery by eating “perfectly”, but we also don’t want to eat cookies and cake and pizza every day and make ourselves gain a bunch of weight and be miserable that way.



I was talking to one of my co-workers last week about a new heath insurance system that basically requires employees to meet certain health criteria.  I think she said it best: “I’d rather live a few less years than never eat any cake and BBQ!”

I kind of feel the same way, but I know there’s a lot of opposing opinions out there, so I’m interesting in hearing them.

Here’s one last thing that totally drives me crazy:

IMO, this is a damn, dirty lie!




About Steph

Hey there, I'm Steph
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5 Responses to Food vs. Fuel

  1. I totally agree. Yes, food is fuel, but we should also be able to enjoy our food. I know my own personal struggle is with finding the happy medium between eating and binge eating. Also that whole nothing tastes as good as skinny feels is crap. I actually did a whole post on it because it pissed me off so much

  2. kilax says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for writing this! That is a completely warped idea and I am happy you called it out! We should still enjoy and indulge from time to time. Trying to be perfect and eating exactly to fuel just sets you up to hate yourself!

  3. I agree with you! Sometimes, you just need to ENJOY food just to enjoy it. Nothing wrong with that!

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