Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Slippery Slope of Fueling and Marathon Training

I’ve always had a healthy appetite, but my stay in the ICU caused me to lose weight. Part of this was because I was in a fair amount of pain from being intubated. I’d assume the O.R. used the smallest tube they could find, but still at only 4’ 11 (and half), my mouth and gums were bruised and it hurt to eat. I’d try to eat a little bit between my drug-induced naps, and still couldn’t manage to finish my meal before the next one would arrive. The 5 pounds I shed during my stay was putting me over the hump and well on my way towards those last glorious extra pounds that everyone wants to lose before they reach their ideal weight.

Shortly after being discharged, I was indulging in stress and holiday eating with my family. Despite walking a mile nearly every day after Christmas, and slowly building into short run/walks, I quickly gained the weight back. Then, I gained back even more weight.  I was operating under the guise “I survived brain surgery- I deserve to have cookies for a breakfast appetizer.”

I’m still short on the weekly mileage that I was running prior to surgery. Now, I’m walking the slippery slope of marathon training that many people encounter… I’m wicked hungry and I WANT FOOD. The problem here is that, I also need to lose weight. Many people want more food while they train, and who can blame them? When begining a new excercise plan it's tough not to gain weight. Many first time marathoners fall into the trap, I'm running more, so I need to fuel more. Then they gain weight. Now that I’m feeling healthier and a little more vain, I need to date again, at the very least to lose weight.

Shortly after I took up long distance running, I started dating my last boyfriend.  He is a runner, and even qualified for Boston. If he told me to run, I’m so stubborn, I woulda said, “are you off your rocker?” Lucky for the two of us, I already had the fire burning in my belly to run a marathon when we started dating. It was a perfect storm for weight loss success- cardiovascular activity + new boyfriend + vanity = 17 pounds lost. J 

Now that I’m single, losing the weight is more difficult. I have no one to impress.  When I was dating my ex, I didn’t want to look fat or gluttonous, so I didn’t eat as much as I wanted when we were together, which was usually every night after our runs. Naturally I lost weight.

May has been a good turn-around for so many things. I’ve got the most energy I’ve had since surgery, and my mind is becoming more singularly minded on being fit and healthy. I still need to remind myself that I don’t need dessert with every meal and that being a little hungry is okay, but with my 5 small (pre-planned) meals a day and my mantra when I go into the kitchen, “I know what cookies taste like,” helps get me through. My huge desire to reduce my carbon footprint also helps with my weight-loss goals.  Weight loss isn’t fun, but it helps not to think of it as weight loss. Last time I lost the weight, I kept telling people, “I’m not trying.” Their response was, “You’re running almost every day, that’s trying.” I’m taking each day in stride, working to get stronger and just make the healthiest choices for my body while remembering to enjoy life and make time to have unexpected fun and indulgences.  

1 comment:

  1. HI Sarah, You know, I've been thinking since the month following my marathon and having gained almost 8 pounds during training... I should let you know about my tool to help me loose my training weight! I've taken on as my buddy through the process. I've got the app on my phone which makes it super easy to log and quick to assess my options when I'm out or at a party or something. Logging food is not for everyone but I've done it before and I find to be the MOST user friendly. It has SO many foods in it's database it's surprising every time I enter something. I invested in a food scale years ago and would never live without it - that and a couple of extra measuring cups around the kitchen makes it all possible and really helps with putting what you DO eat into perspective. It doesn't mean you need to skip things- just eat less or eat them differently. Example: I type this as I sit with a beer, brownie, wheat thins and cheese as my post work snack today. GOOD LUCK!