I have the Johnny Cash song in my mind lately as I walk the line between my two worlds. I’m a food writer, I’m a powerlifter. I’m a powerlifter, I’m a food writer.
When I read lifting blogs and articles I get excited about my training, about lifting, about eating to fuel my body to make it stronger. I want to eat meat, veggies, fruits, drink my protein shake, and lunch on tuna salad.
When I read food blogs and articles, especially on the three days a week I don’t train, I start to dream of epic meals aromatic of butter and cheese, loaded with carbs. Oh, truffle mac and cheese, oh crunchy baguette with apple slices and melted brie, I miss you. I look back with longing at feasts of yore.
I walk the line between these worlds, veering from one to the other on a daily basis. Wine dinner? Media event? Special occasion? I eat with abandon, anything I want, and wallow in the bliss. I don’t believe in feeling guilty for what I eat. For better or worse, food is tied to happiness, and the countries where people get that (France, je t’adore) have slimmer, healthier citizens than we do. But that means I’m out of the paleo-club, the world where so many other athletes live.
Most days though, I eat “clean” – lots of protein and fat (far more than the USDA would have me consume), carbs coming only from fruit and vegetables. On those days I feel like an impostor of a food writer. How can I be a gourmand when I eat tuna out of a can for lunch and get 10-15% of my daily calories from a whey protein shake?
Some days worlds collide. I leave the garage after heavy squats and go to a wine and chocolate tasting. It gets to feel a little schizophrenic sometimes. How can I be making macarons one day and hitting a PR the next?
But I love both worlds, and can’t imagine a complete life without either aspect. Does it make me any less serious about either? I say no. And I’ll keep walking the line — having my cake and eating it too.