The chicken or the egg?

A classic dilemma that I believe applies to the relationship between my recent eating habits (bad) and my physical/mental condition (crummy).

A girl that I taught in VA told me that she's "a fat girl at heart" because she "eats her feelings". I thought that was a really funny and incredibly insightful comment on both her eating habits and my own. Now whenever I splurge, I defend myself by saying, "What?! I'm eating my feelings!" This has certainly been my war-cry over the last couple of weeks.

Coincidentally (maybe), I've also been pretty irritable and training pretty slowly over the last couple of weeks.

The question is: Are my emotional and physical states the result of poor eating habits, or is it the other way around? I like to believe, that outside stress factors have lead me to my cranky disposition, and crummy training, and that these have lead to me "eating my feelings," as the saying would suggest.

On the other hand - I've seen the positive effects of eating healthy in the last couple of months. Eating right (up until about two and a half weeks ago) gave me more energy and likely contributed to the loss of 5 pounds! (It also gave me more gas.) Since then, not eating so well, and I am at the same time, cranky, not training as well, and have likely gained back most of that weight that I lost. (And yet some how, I remain increasingly gassy - as Emily can begrudgingly attest.)

So which is it? I really have no idea, though I'm sure there's some relationship. All I know is that I can't just change my mood and training successes/failures, but I can change what I eat. So whether it was the chicken or the egg that came first in the analogy of my depressing current state, I know they both contribute to it... so I'm getting rid of the egg. (But not the real egg, because our coach Will says omlettes can be very good for you. In fact, tonight I'm having some quiche at my friends' house.)


  1. this genius student of yours was a loyal disciple of oprah. check out for more insight on emotional eating :)

  2. I know that student well enough to say that I'm pretty sure she would refuse ever to use that saying again had she known that it's an Oprah-ism... regardless of how much she loved to say it.

  3. Hey Brett! It's Amy Cole. I found your blog via facebook. Glad to see you're still competing! I'm doing my first Ironman in a couple weeks - Ironman St. George. I'm also signed up for Ironman Arizona this November. I'm living in Tucson now and going to grad school at the UofA. Let me know if you ever want to come here and train - it's great in the winter!