Herein lies the greatest problem. Many would say I earned this reward, and I would have to agree. But I also know I will go back to training very soon, and will be home for a few days eating better. So many runners, especially those new beginners who wish to simply finish a marathon, will complete their task of having lost some weight during the training and then immediately slip back into obese standards. They figure that the marathon will just keep burning calories as they celebrate their victory for the next week or so.

A personal trainer once told me, “Abs begin in the kitchen,” and it could not be a truer statement. Exercise is fantastic for the body, but it is only part of the equation. In fact, I would venture to say that what we put into our bodies means much more to our overall fitness than what we do to and with our bodies in exercise.

Should you not treat yourself to the occasional goodie? Hell, no. I cannot possibly be that big of a hypocrite. Plus, life is a tough ride, so one should treat themselves to many things that make them happy. However, do so in moderation and be equipped with the facts.  Know what you are putting in there and make a concerted effort to treat your body right.

And as I have always answered when people say to me “You can eat whatever you want”:

Perhaps, but would you put crappy gasoline in a Ferrari?

Dane Rauschenberg is the author of See Dane Run, which recounts his 2006 feat of running an official marathon every weekend of the year in a different North American city. Running Matters is his weekly blog for Blue Ridge Outdoors.