To Answer the Growl or not, that is the question

By Christopher Cudworth

Answer the GrowlThree miles into a nine-mile Saturday morning run, my companion announced it was time for a bathroom break. Fortunately she knew there was a Mobil station along the trail. We’ve had a number of such lucky strokes the past few months. We definitely don’t take them for granted.

While she did her business I stood in the front of the convenience store grateful also for a few minutes of warmth. Temps outside were 10 degrees and light snow was beginning to fall. It was actually a gorgeous day for running.

When you come inside from the clean, pure world of running outside to the necessarily overheated front portion of a junk food store, the senses can get a bit confused. The air feels warm, yet stale. It’s hard to stand still. Sweat forms on your body and you wonder what it will feel like to head back outside.

Shifting from foot to foot I noticed a sign below the tall stack of snack foods forming a wall at the front of the store.

“ANSWER THE GROWL,” it read.

ChipsI’m always hungry, yet at that moment nothing on the rack looked all that appetizing. Fast food is false food, and not what you normally crave during a 1.5 hour workout. Only the nuts were technically edible. Oversalted of course. Possibly laced with preservative or sugar. Plus you pay $7.99 for about 3 ounces of product these days. Nuts are no bargain.

Distanced from the desire for all that junk food by my perspective as an endurance athlete, none of that junk food caused any real appetite. Needless to say, I did not ANSWER THE GROWL.

Isn’t it interesting the difference in appetite and attitude when you’re immersed in what you love to do versus those moments of weakness when you wander into a junk food store during your commute or between appointments?

The person you are when you’re in the middle of a workout is not the same person you are when you’re wandering around hungry and susceptible to the marketing call to ANSWER THE GROWL and eat things that are not good for you.

The watershed is clear. The things that may taste good and satisfy your cravings are often not foods or drinks the support improved performance.

You need to objectify the process. That’s why it was so interesting to see my ownSurveillance image on a surveillance monitor in that store. The person staring back at me was a runner, not a junk food customer.

It’s one of the tarsnakes of a fitness lifestyle. We like to workout so that we can eat what we like. But if we want to work out well, it matters what type of food s we put into our bodies.

We need to be our own surveillance. Our self-image may need to be objective to the point where we can see the runner or the rider or the swimmer in all situations. And when you’re tempted to ANSWER THE GROWL the athlete in you can put a cuff on your wrists and say, “YOU’RE BUSTED. NO JUNK FOOD FOR YOU!”

The only growl you should answer is the growl in your stomach after a workout, and you should be growling for good stuff, not bad stuff.

Of course it’s even tougher for cyclists. When you’re in the middle of an 80-mile ride and the group stops to fuel up, that $20 bill can load up on a ton of junk rather than buying the right kind  of food. The Growl can be your enemy over the long haul, after all.

Again, start to see yourself as an athlete at all times, especially when you’re in the middle of a workout. The sooner you start to do that, the faster you’ll feel the kind of fitness that makes you look good, even in the surveillance camera. Or especially so. WeRunandRideLogo

About Christopher Cudworth

Christopher Cudworth is a content producer, writer and blogger with more than 25 years’ experience in B2B and B2C marketing, journalism, public relations and social media. Connect with Christopher on Twitter: @genesisfix07 and blogs at, and Online portfolio:
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1 Response to To Answer the Growl or not, that is the question

  1. I’m hungry all the time also. I thought it was just me. I can get up from the dinner table and feel hungry as I put my plate in the dish washer.
    I’ve found that I don’t even have to resist most junk food. It just doesn’t appeal to me. On my birthday I told myself I would treat my self to what ever I wanted to eat that day. I passed all of the Dunkin Donuts and Mcdonalds on the way to work and had absolutely no interest in stopping in.
    I ended up having a boritto for lunch which is fairly healthy w/ beans and rice in there.
    I think it’s like giving up smoking. After a while that junk just doesn’t have any appeal to you anymore.
    Question – are you able to order your “blogs I follow” list? Tech support told me I could not do that. I really appreciate being #2 on your list!

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