Sep 16

7 Unhealthy Habits of A Healthy Athlete

I recently read an interview on espnW, with Erica Schenk. You know, the first plus-sized model/runner they put on the cover of Women’s Running and everyone went berserk?…in a good way. The reporter asked her about positive body image and she said “People look at me and say ‘You don’t exercise’.” Well Erica, I have the opposite problem. People look at me and say “Do you do anything but exercise?”


These are the other comments I hear a lot:

“Do you eat anything unhealthy?” Yes!

“Are you a vegetarian? Vegan? Mutant?” NO, none of those things.

“Do you eat dessert?” OMG YES!

“You probably don’t drink.” That’s like saying I probably don’t breathe.

Once, several years ago, when I hosted one of the first girl’s nights at my house, almost everyone brought a veggie platter or fruit plate.

I get it, but, I need to set the record straight.

I do a lot of unhealthy things. Yes, most of my habits and diet are extremely healthy but I also love to exercise and eat well most of the time. I’m not forcing myself to eat kale, veggie stew, fruits, vegetables or anything else. I actually enjoy my food and it helps me to maintain my training regimen.

However, here are my top seven sins:

  1. I put half and half and sugar in my coffee. Real, pure, sugar and I make it a big scoop. My second cup of the day is hopefully Starbucks which I put Almond milk and sugar in, but there is always sugar and there are always two fabulous cups of coffee.
  2. I love french fries. I mean I really love them. I like them thin and crispy and piping hot. Most of the time I will defer to sweet potato fries but, if that choice isn’t available, I get the real deal and eat every last one. And no, I don’t think McDonald’s has the best ones. I don’t think McDonald’s has the best anything.
  3. I drink. Sometimes too much, sometimes too little and every so often I get it just right. I don’t have a mudslide or fruity concoction with seven different liquors in it, but I love a great glass of red, a citron and tonic and there’s nothing like a good Sam Adams beer, especially after a race.
Double fisting after my Ignite presentation at Fitbloggin in 2014. Drinking at a fitness conference. Yep.

Double fisting after my Ignite presentation at Fitbloggin in 2014. Drinking at a fitness conference. Yep. I also haven’t a clue what is in those but it was delicious.

4. I’m negative. I know you all think I’m sunshine and roses but, alas, that is not the true me. I’m a happy person but I’m definitely in the “glass is half empty” camp. I’m actually a permanent resident. I actually founded the town.

5. I don’t go to the dentist regularly. I know, I know, but since I’m being honest I need to tell the whole awful truth. I will be really pissed if I die from gum disease and not overtraining

6. I’m a horrible hydrator. Since my little bladder scare back in the spring, I’ve gotten much better, but I can still use improvement in this area.

7.  I don’t have a thigh gap. Now, this is not necessarily “unhealthy” and I certainly do not think I’m overweight but, I know this is a sort of awful trend and I want to address it. Not only do I not have a thigh gap but I’ve been known to forget to apply glide on my thighs when I’m running in my short shorts and I chafe like a bitch.

Track session + sun + sweat + short shorts = chafing.

Track session + sun + sweat + short shorts = chafing.

I know my husband some people will look at this list and think none of it is really that bad. I’m not saying it is, but I do a lot of things most people wouldn’t think an “athlete” does. The point of this is to not look at someone like Erica Schenk and think she’s lazy and then someone like me and think I live at the gym.

Cut yourself some slack, try your best not to compare and be happy with the real YOU…with a side of fries.

What assumptions do people make about you?

What are your “unhealthy” confessions?


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  1. I love this post. I always appreciate your honest.

    My foodie weakness is red velvet cake and I don’t have a thigh gap either.
    Hollie recently posted…Grapes and Peaches 10k (40:55)My Profile

    1. If you don’t have a thigh gap then no one does! Seriously? OMG that is crazy. And I too love a good red velvet cupcake 🙂


    I often wake up in the morning, and head straight to the chocolate……not a good way to start your day!
    Tina Muir recently posted…Life as an Elite Athlete at Zap FitnessMy Profile

    1. Ha, Tina! So funny- I have dark chocolate after breakfast some days, too. 🙂 Allie- love your honesty, as always! I think there is something to “body type” as well – muscles don’t show up quickly for me, but I have a friend who rarely exercises and when she does she looks ripped immediately!
      Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…Is there a history of runners in your family?My Profile

      1. Totally! The very first thing I tell people if they ask about my arms or shoulders is that I have great genes!! I build muscle very quickly which is why I pretty much never lift weights.
        Thanks Laura and it looks like we will be having chocolate for breakfast in Maine 🙂

      2. I remember going to this one race and there was a girl by me at the starting line….she was totally ripped and looked SO strong. She was running in a sports bra and sported a total 6 pack. I thought for sure she was going to be faster than me. Turns out I beat her by a decent amount…you just can’t always go by looks!
        Jen@milesandblessings recently posted…An ultra, a 20 mile run & my best long run tip!My Profile

        1. OMG I used to do that all the time and completely psyche myself out. Good to know I wasn’t the only one 🙂

    2. That actually sounds like a great way to start some days 🙂 I know my dad gives the boys cookies for breakfast whenever they sleep over so…

      1. Im in!!!!!! 😀
        Tina Muir recently posted…Life as an Elite Athlete at Zap FitnessMy Profile

  3. Oh my word thank you For sharing this!! I’ll admit in my head you are the healthiest of healthy. I still can’t picture you eating French fries. I think it’s because you DO so much and you are such a top notch athlete that it’s hard to think that you function like the rest of us. Haha. I totally would have just picked some grass from the floor with some olive oil to your girls night!!!

    Also I’m not apart of team chafe. When I forget my glide it’s a real problem!!
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted…Weekly Wednesday Workout: Multicurl Arm ExercisesMy Profile

    1. OMG I am laughing so hard at the “picked some grass and put olive oil on it” comment. You are so awesome and I WISH you could come to girls night at my house!!!

  4. Yup. 100% yup. I’ve been told I’m too thin. But I’m all muscle and I DO eat chocolate and pizza almost every week. I just train super hard for my marathon. There’s nothing wrong with being lean and there’s nothing wrong with a little “extra”. The media and public can have such a critical eye. If we spent the time we do criticizing people encouraging them instead we would all feel like rock stars. I’m Jessica and I have a sugar addiction. And i don’t plan on recovering 😉
    Jess @ pink payne recently posted…Monday Motivation: Be the Light & Link LOVEMy Profile

    1. Nice to meet you Jessica 🙂 I love the idea of a support group where we drink wine and eat pizza, fries and have tons of desserts…all after our long runs of course!

  5. I would say dessert, wine and big dinners out are my unhealthy vices!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…What I Learned From Opening My Own BusinessMy Profile

    1. Yes, yes and OMG YES! I definitely splurge when Mike and I go out!

  6. I co-founded Negativity City with you, remember? My biggest vices are alcohol and chocolate. I would say cheese, but I refuse to speak ill of cheese.
    Danielle@T-Rex Runner recently posted…Nathaniel Pawthorne, and Other StoriesMy Profile

    1. I apologize for not giving you proper credit because of course I remember!! And I shalt not speak evil of cheese either…ever. #ILoveCheese

  7. You know I’m on board with this, right? I love that you wrote this because people need to understand that you can be a successful athlete and still break the rules now and then. In fact, I think you represent a far healthier approach than those who strive to eat air and run themselves into the ground with too much training. Moderation is a good thing in life!

    1. Oh I absolutely know you are on board with this. And yes, I agree that it’s a much healthier approach. I have definitely dabbled in depravation and it only effected my training in one way – negatively.
      Thanks Amanda!

    2. Amen!
      Jen@milesandblessings recently posted…An ultra, a 20 mile run & my best long run tip!My Profile

  8. No thigh gap here either…in fact my “runners thighs” make it nearly impossible to find jeans! I went to Kohl’s a few months ago and literally tried on 15 pairs of jeans and none of them worked!
    I must have cream in my coffee and I use too much of it for sure. I eat dessert (ice cream is my dessert of choice) almost every night. I eat (and love) carbs. While for the most part I have switched over to whole wheat/brown carbs…I still LOVE my plain white bagels :). I don’t drink enough either, but this summer I have been working on that. With all the hot and humid running I have been definitely feeling dehydrated.
    I drink Diet Coke….I know, I know, I am drinking chemicals… :(. I have cut WAY back and only have 4 or 5 a week…I just haven’t completely given it up. I did go for a stretch of 3 months or so without it.
    For the most part I just try to find a happy, somewhat healthy balance. I love fruit and veggies and eating healthy, but I am also not afraid to enjoy life (and ice cream :)).
    Five Guys= BEST fries ever!!!!!!!!!!!
    Jen@milesandblessings recently posted…An ultra, a 20 mile run & my best long run tip!My Profile

    1. First of all I will have to try Five Guys fries! Second, I think you have a great healthy balance and, if you drink a coke a day and it makes you happy? Do it. It’s obviously not effecting your health or training. Keep it up!

  9. Maybe one of my favorite posts you’ve ever written…..LOVE!!! Saying you don’t drink is like saying you don’t breathe….love that (and no, it doesn’t mean you’re an alcoholic…I know). It must be truth week cause I confessed a couple of things this week. And I prefer regular fries to sweet potato fries, and order regular ones. (I do make one of my kids get the sweet potato ones and eat some of his). Love how you can feel like you really know someone just based on reading what they write….that must mean they are a fantastic writer!! recently posted…TruthMy Profile

    1. Oh Paria, thank you so much for pointing out that it doesn’t make me an alcoholic. After I re-read some of the part about drinking, I thought it may come off the wrong way but, I left it. It is what it is and it certainly isn’t an issue.
      My boys LOVE sweet potato fries so I always steal from them when I can. I love the idea of getting the regular ones for myself – genius!
      And thank you for the compliment. That truly makes my day! xo

  10. Yup I’m with you, your unhealthy habits are not bad at all 😉 I certainly like my cocktails and sometimes too much. It’s all about balance. On days when I don’t have super tough workouts I might have a few libations the night before. I think one thing in guilty of is not being consistent with my core work. I will go hard at everything than slack in the most important area. Doh! I constantly have to remind myself that I can’t just do the fun stuff, sometimes I gotta work on the boring but effective stuff 🙂
    Danielle recently posted…Celebrating FlawsMy Profile

    1. So true!…on all counts. My strength training workouts are not my favorite but I remind myself that without them, I’m risking injury. That’s pretty much all the motivation I need. And CHEERS to having a few the night before an easy workout 🙂

  11. Oh man! Where to start with my unhealthy habits? Love chocolate, dessert, coffee (sweetened), love chips….shall I go on? We are all human. And that’s what I love about this!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…So You Want to Be a RunnerMy Profile

    1. Exactly!!! Thanks Angela…and we can eat and have coffee together anytime 🙂

  12. Allie, I love your honesty! I haven’t been to the dentist in two years, even though I know it’s the healthy thing to go every six months! I love my beer (Sam Adams is seriously one of the best), I have a hard time saying no to fries, and some days I eat gluten at every single meal. But, I’d rather have a few vices, not be super thin, and be overall healthy than to run myself into the ground by starving myself and overtraining.
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…The Allure of a Boston QualifierMy Profile

    1. Exactly! It’s all about training hard but still having fun and being human. And THANK YOU for also confessing about the dentist!!

    • Your Husband! on September 16, 2015 at 7:20 PM
    • Reply

    Do you want to compare? My list is bigger and badder than yours 😉 I’ll write a follow up when I have an hour!

    1. Oh I know it is! And I would love to read your follow-up…

    • Tiffany Raymond on September 16, 2015 at 9:08 PM
    • Reply

    Allie, I love how real and honest you are!! Fortunately you have assume genes, train hard and find balance between the healthy and unhealthy vices. You ROCK!! No judgement here! I have Celiac so people constantly ask me , “what do you eat?” I respond, the outskirts of the grocery store and that includes the checkout aisle. I lchuckle because so many people think I don’t eat anything unhealthy. I just choose my guilty pleasures wisely. ‘A husband thought it was a good idea to leave me 3 peanut M&Ms with my packet of stevia for my morning coffee. Now I’m addicted and eat the M&Ms first!! Ha ha. I do enjoy kettle chips and Talenti gelato!!

    1. Choosing guilty pleasures wisely is a perfect way to explain it! And I love the M&Ms – that is adorable and funny.

    • Jen on September 16, 2015 at 10:18 PM
    • Reply

    First of all, tell me you have the Starbucks gold card and are getting every 12th drink free:) I live at Starbucks as well and thank God for the perks! I feel there are a lot of addictions that cost more than $5/ day so it’s all good:)
    #justified. Second of all, I had no idea what a thigh gap is. I had to google it:) love how you balance it all:) I mean I love my adult beverages as well:) stay thirsty my friend:):):)

    1. LOL! I do not have the gold card but I usually only get a Starbucks 1-2 times a week. The closest one to my house is about 30 minutes away. I live in Dunkin Donuts territory!
      I love that you had to google thigh gap. That is awesome. You are awesome. Thanks Jen!

    • Lindsey on September 17, 2015 at 12:57 PM
    • Reply

    I love this! I drink more coffee than I should but it is more for the taste of coffee, not the buzz. 🙂

    1. There is almost nothing better then that first cup in the morning!…especially during the winter.

  13. It happens! I’m a nutrition coach telling people what to eat and I’m not perfect! It’s all about progress not perfection!
    emma @ be mom strong recently posted…October Group Programs!My Profile

    1. Exactly!! Thank you for your expert opinion 🙂

    • Sam on September 18, 2015 at 9:43 AM
    • Reply

    My mom said the most encouraging thing accidentally when she was watching the finish of my first marathon. She said she was so surprised that there was every single body type you could imagine coming in before and after me, she was blown away. “No one looked the same!” and I love that about running. I feel like anyone can do it or at least try it, and your success isn’t predetermined by what you look like. Thanks for the post!
    Sam recently posted…Rain and Magic Shoe NumbersMy Profile

    1. I love this so, so much! I always love when non-runners watch a race. It’s truly an incredible experience and I’ve had friends and family say the most profound things, as your mom did, when they have come to watch me. So awesome and thanks for sharing!

  14. Confession: I’m definitely a glass half empty kind of girl too. I find if I prepare myself for the worst I will be prepared for any and all situations and be pleasantly surprised when things work out! It makes sense to me…it drives my husband nuts!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Stay Connected on your Run with the Timex Ironman One GPS +My Profile

    1. OMG that exactly and ditto on the hubs 🙂 Oh well…

  15. LOL!!!! My To-Do list has had “make a dentist appt” on it for… The past 8 months! BAH HA HA HA HA! Uhhh I haven’t been to the dentist in about 4 – 5 years! 😮
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Put It In Your Mouth: Frozen Meal Taste TestMy Profile

    1. Ditto!! I’m so glad I’m not the only one with a dirty mouth 🙂

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