Raw Food Journal #44: Cross Country Camp

August 14, 2011

Hangin' out on the beach!

A review of cross country camp:
Day 1 was good under the circumstances; I ate a few large salads with about ¾ of an avocado for some healthy fats for dinner. Then I was still hungry later, so I wolfed down about three apples and three bananas. I went over my calorie limit.
Day 2: I felt self-conscious whipping up a green smoothie in the morning (that blender is so dang loud) but I knew that I the embarrassment was worth sticking to raw food as much as possible and keeping the calories low rather than reaching for something bad.
I prayed for my run that day to be pain-free. My knee hurt terribly at the end of the run the first day of camp but there was a part of me that hoped my knee would feel fine the next day.
The knee hurt within the first few steps so I had to stop and walk back. I pretended to stretch but really I just needed something to do while I cried. I felt like a baby because it was only one run with some pain again but I wanted to run badly. I wanted to enjoy a lunch with my teammates without feeling guilty for eating in general.
We went to lunch a few hours after the run where I ordered a large salad and steamed vegetables. It tasted excellent but I still felt hungry and ate two apples plus a raw food bar when I was tempted by the malt/ice cream many of the girls ate for dessert. It was a great idea to have the raw food “dessert” bar with me for that. I felt embarrassed to eat more after the salad though so I hid the food in my pocket and just broke off little chunks and put them into my mouth as we walked back to the beach. I feel my teammates can see the weight I’ve gained so I feel self-conscious eating in front them.
Day 3: The yearning to run when you know you can’t is awful. It’s like a deep hunger, a silent scream for release from the pain of injury. In all my eagerness to run, with the traces of my dream from the night before still left in my mind (I had dreamed of running without pain), I finally broke loose at the end of the team’s tempo run at camp. Seeing the girls come in strong, I ran towards them. I jogged in as Jackie soared past to close the gap.
My knee didn’t hurt. I felt alive, as if I were breathing again, as if the whole world had turned right-side-up. I felt euphoric, as if I had just been injected with a blissful drug.
In my state of euphoria I kept running and continued on to run a mile with the girls for the cooldown.
My knee hurt by the end of it.
That afternoon I ate terribly–pretzels, peanut butter, sugary oatmeal, and on and on stuffing myself silly. I felt self-conscious doing this to myself in front of everyone but the the intensity in which my body or my mind or whatever this was yearned for it all. But what the heck are they thinking if I’m telling them I’m trying to eat only raw food? I’m not even close to doing that anymore!
xc camp

I tried to make the same pose that I had from freshman year to compare how much weight I had gained since then.

freshman yearDay 4: The final morning wasn’t good—I ate more sugary oatmeal, many bananas, and more peanut butter. I tried to stop eating after that.
When I returned home I had 200 calories of popcorn so that I could feel like I was eating a lot with fewer calories. Eventually I also drank a large green smoothie and berries. I tried to fast the rest of the day, but that doesn’t work for me anymore–it’s so difficult to do now! It’s a shame that I can’t even go a few hours without eating. I want to reduce my portions down again. I’m mad at myself.
I’m reading “Women, Food, and God” by Geneen Roth which is a great book for the emotional eater. Hopefully good things will come out of reading it. I need to focus on my body. I need to get into lean shape for running so that when I come back I can still run well.
So okay, I ate terribly at camp. I’m mad at myself for it. And then I didn’t get to run. But if I learned one thing from camp, it was that running isn’t absolutely everything. I could still be myself, still cheer on everyone, still act a little goofy and have fun. We were there to get to know each other and bond as a team. But if anything, even without running, I had a good time at camp. It helped to be reminded that I didn’t just come to Aquinas to run. Even if something did happen to my running, I came because Aquinas, and the team, makes me happy. Aquinas makes me Rachael.

Camp Warriors

I do not advocate nor do I completely dismiss the raw food diet but I do encourage you to stay with me through these past journal entries (please note the date in bold verses the post date) until the end to decide for yourself what you think would be best for you as pertaining to diet if you feel the need to change in any way. Please understand that I went into the raw food diet with some wrong intentions. Learn from my mistakes before making your own.

About Rachael

Rachael Steil is a graduate from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts. Steil an author, speaker, and a recipient of the Spirit and Outstanding Runner award for the Aquinas College cross country team and has received 6th place All-American accolades in cross country as well as 7th place in the NAIA track nationals.
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