I have a syndrome — maybe you do too?

I’m sure you’ve never heard of it, because it’s a syndrome I invented a few years back when I was active on sparkpeople.com. It’s IDI Syndrome: I Deserve It Syndrome.

The  Tuesdays on the Run linkup subject for today is where to find bargains on our gear/clothing/gadgets, etc. Which ought to be right up my alley, read my blog for any length of time and you’ll realize I’m a power shopper.Maybe I’ll get a few tips from you.

But right now IDI Syndrome is on my mind.

IDI is usually caught in childhood
In fact I would tell you that IDI is instilled in childhood. How do you celebrate good grades? A win in sports? A good recital?

With food of course.

I kind of cringe sometimes when I scroll Instagram and see the photos of parents taking their kids out for an ice cream sundae on these sort of occasions.

My parents did. Which is no doubt why one of my favorite treats after a half (if it’s warm) is a hot fudge brownie sundae.

I’m not saying parents shouldn’t treat their kids, of course. I just wonder, sometimes, if there are better ways to do it. Surely there is something better than to teach them to expect something super sugary and fattening if they do a good job at something. What about some one on one time? A movie? A museum?

I don’t really know the answer, I just know I’m lucky I don’t have kids to screw up.

IDI follows us into adulthood
I can’t tell you the number of hard long runs or just hard runs I’ve done that the thought of whatever treat I have waiting for me in the car gets me through. And I’ve already mentioned that sundae I’m hoping for after my next half.

Speaking of sundaes, Sunday I made sure to have some food pretty much immediately after my long run. My running buddy took off and went to work!

I sat in my car. And I consumed a few dark chocolate cherries, a few peanut butter pretzels, and a hammer recovery bar. I’d say that’s definitely properly refueling, right?

By the time I got home, I wasn’t terribly hungry. I made some tea, did my stretches and foam rolling, then had some tofu veggie soup and a banana.

Sounds like I hit the high notes, right? Protein, a little sodium, some fat, some carbs. And I wasn’t really hungry. But I still wanted something sweet after dinner. I think subconsciously it was IDI at work. I wasn’t hungry but hey! I ran 10 miles in the rain, and not a warm rain, either. I deserve it, right?

I fought with myself for a while, realizing it was a want and not a need, but in the end, I caved, and had a couple of protein balls.

IDI & exercise aren’t a good combination
Have you seen the graphic that shows you how many cupcakes you can eat for different races? I pinned it to my running Pinterest board in case you haven’t. Or how about this page about how long you need to run to burn off various “treats”?

It’s a slippery slope, my friends. It’s the reason it’s so easy to gain weight when you train for a race. It’s an invitation to an eating disorder.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying it’s never okay to treat yourself to a brownie or cookie or whatever is your treat of choice. I’m just saying it’s a really bad idea to do it because “I’v earned it” (or deserve it, etc.).

If you find yourself uncomfortable in your own skin or clothes, maybe you deserve something better.

Eat to live or live to eat?
Do you think you suffer from IDI Syndrome?
Ever gained weight training for a race?
Tuesdays on the Run

I’m linking up today with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

25 thoughts on “I have a syndrome — maybe you do too?

  1. As a kid my DENTIST would give us a certificate for free ice cream. I always thought that was odd coming from a dentist. Not that I turned it away or anything. Thanks for linking up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least it wasn’t candy!

      They give us samples at our WW meetings from time to time. Only once in a blue moon do I take one — most of their stuff is filled with stuff I don’t eat — it’s the one area of WW where I think they fail.

      Although I’ve been waiting for their chips to go on sale again — there’s a hummus chip I love for post run!


  2. Hmmmm . something to think about. I don’t usually eat much after a race or long run. I actually think I under fuel after a race or long run.

    Now if we are talking workout clothes/work clothes/cute shoes, etc….yup IDI is real for me there. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maybe I’m old but growing up, we didn’t talk about eating healthy. (no such thing as lactose free, gluten free, fat free, carb free)We had sweets in the house. They were called dessert. I never got rewarded with food!!

    That has changed. Now we try to eat healthy, buy healthy foods and maybe not keep junk food in the house. So as a result, sweets are used as a reward. I am guilty of this. i always tell Richard & Matthew that if they are good, we’ll go out for ice cream.

    I do disagree about post run treats. Running is hard. Running 10+ miles is hard and you only do it once a week. You do deserve a treat (even an ice cream sundae which I detest). If it gets you out of bed and you complete the miles, you deserve and shouldn’t feel guilty.

    I’m not advocating for high calorie treat everyday or after a short run but once a week, go for it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re not THAT much older than me. You’re my sister’s age!

      Things were different back then. We were more active, even in just everyday life, and we weren’t tethered to computers 24/7.

      How could you possibly detest a sundae? I’m not sure we can still be friends. 😉

      You’ve seen me eat treats — it’s not as though I deny myself everything, nor am I advocating that. But I was rewarded with food as a kid, my parents are/were big noshers — unfortunately the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, although I’ve worked really hard to change a lot of habits.

      Oddly enough, my mom did cook pretty healthy meals. I never had grilled cheese or mac n cheese until I went to college. We never ordered a pizza and didn’t go out to eat all that often.

      But sweets were a very different story in my house.


  4. I switched my IDI syndrome from food to either gear, or some pampering with a pedicure or massage. If anything, my feet certainly deserve a pedicure after a race. I put them through a lot when I’m training.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have all of those afflictions — although frankly, the massages I’m getting lately are more medicinal than pampering and I’ve never had a pedicure. I don’t do manicures all that often either, although I do enjoy them.


  5. I have never considered food a reward, but I was blessed with a healthy metabolism and the fidget problem that means I rarely sit still. I do think it is fun to treat yourself after a big race, but I definitely eat to live, not the reverse.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had noticed a few years back that it seems food is treated as a reward… I try to stay away from that, and instead go for other things to reward myself – new piece of gear, pedicure/massage, etc. Sometimes it is hard … I’ve already told my mother that my treat for finishing the half when I’m back home is her homemade strawberry shortcake 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, you are right!! I am teaching this to my kid, subconsciously… but still doing it, and I hate it! But I think that so much more goes into this…. for me it’s the divorced parent guilt, in addition to the Working mom guilt!

    Thank you for reminding me of this syndrome! now I need to take more active steps to prevent it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually think kids can be better off if they don’t get everything they want. But I understand how you want them to have everything! Heck, I want my animals to have everything, I’d probably be terrible with kids.

      But I really do think they want your time more than stuff.


  8. My mom lost 90 pounds when I was a very little kid and she worked very hard to instill a healthy relationship with food within me. She never used food for rewards (she generally used clothes for that, so obviously my closet is cram packed). She also pushed me to exercise and find exercising fun. This is one of the greatest gifts she could have given me and I am always very thankful for that. That’s not to say that I don’t love some good food every now and then, but I mostly eat whatever I need to to get through the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pretty much everyone in my family battles with their weight. We’ve all been thin at some point in our lives, but right now, most of my family isn’t.

      Food was definitely a reward. And mostly they were on the see-food diet, too (and still are).

      I’m lucky I never had an eating disorder, but I have almost always dealt with disordered eating — I’ve come a long way, but there’s still a ways to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I definitely have IDI; awareness is half the battle. Sometimes I let myself have the reward, but I’m always aware that it’s a want, not a need. More often than not these days I don’t reward myself with food. I’m not a dog, you know? I try to reward myself with a new running top or accessory. And I don’t reward myself weekly anymore. The shift has been a little hard, but I’m glad I’ve changed my mindset.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Girl, YES. My husband and I are both sufferers when it comes to IDI Syndrome. We’ve been working toward fixing that (he buys books, I buy chocolate!) but it’s hard. Your post gave me more to think about— thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome. Unfortunately I’ve been struggling with this most of my life — don’t get me started on clothes, shoes, chocolate, nut butter . . . books used to be in there, too, until I joined the library when we moved here & got a Kindle. 🙂


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