Sunday, February 26, 2012

move it, and lose it.

I know what you're going to say to me, "You're in great shape, you don't need to lose any weight."  or possibly, "Well, if you want to lose weight, that shouldn't be a problem for you, because you exercise so much."

But the truth is, I've been at least ten pounds over the weight that I would rather be for several months now and I've been watching the scale creep up to an undesired weight, despite the fact that I've been exercising most days of the week.  I went for too long after the Wasatch 100 last fall eating whatever I wanted, while my weekly mileage started to dwindle...  Drinking a beer or two each night was no longer a reward but rather my standard practice.  Can you say, "empty calories"?  And eating cookies became my go-to comfort food.  This might be all well and good if I were still running like I was last summer.  But I haven't been.  The 50k at Pemberton a few weeks ago was a personal (fast) record for me, but honestly?  I felt like the chubbiest runner there.

So, when Lent started this past Wednesday, I decided to do what I usually do each year... give up the sweets.  Cookies, candy, chocolate, and the like.  I do it for a couple of reasons:  although I'm not Catholic, my dad and cousins were and are, and I think it's good to sacrifice something that you really like once in a while.  See how it feels to live without that little bit of comfort that you usually turn to.  Try to find other ways to cope with your stress.  It's tough, but it's rewarding in the end.  The other reason is because when I give up sweets for the period from Ash Wednesday to Easter (six and a half weeks), I typically lose at least 5 pounds, or even 10.  Gives you an idea of how much sweet stuff I'm really eating when you know that.

After talking with my running friend, Sue, I also decided to cut out the empty alcohol calories.  Well, most of them anyway.  Mid-week beer is gone, sadly.  And weekend beer is going to be limited.  I'm trying for 4 drinks on the weekend.

Another thing that I've done is to re-establish my part-time job of exercising.  For the past few months, my exercise has ranged anywhere from 5 hours to 12 hours per week.  That might seem like a lot to some people, but for me it's really not that much.  I'm used to exercising at least 15 to 20 hours per week when I'm running in the summer, or if I'm out skiing in the winter, which I haven't been doing that much of because our winter has been so sparse this year.  This week I got nearly 20 hours of exercise.  Today I went skate skiing with the dogs for an hour and a quarter.  I felt a little woozie.

One reason I may have felt light-headed was that I have been counting (and have decreased) my calories for the last week.  I downloaded an app on my iPhone to help me out, and there's also an on-line link that I can update my caloric intake and exercise each day.  I was actually pretty shocked when I plugged in a couple of days at the beginning of the week, and found that I was easily consuming 2000 to 2200 calories per day.  There's no way I can lose any weight with that amount of food intake!  So I set my limit at a more realistic (weight-loss) intake of 1650.  It was 1625 for a couple of days, and I felt like absolute garbage, so I bumped it up just a little bit.  On the days that I've been skiing or ski touring all day, I allowed myself to eat closer to 2000 calories, because on those days I am burning upwards of 3000, but for the most part I've stayed right between 1600 and 1700.

The results, you might ask?  After a week of meal planning and increased exercise, I have lost 3 pounds.  Maybe 4 if you take my weight this morning when I was completely dehydrated after drinking a pot of coffee and before eating any breakfast (which is another think I'm trying to do-- eat breakfast.  At least 200 to 300 calories before 10am.  It's tough.  I've never really liked eating breakfast).

So now I'm thinking, maybe I should try to lose a little more than 10 pounds?  You all probably think I'm crazy.  But I just think that running will be so much easier if I'm leaner, especially around the mid-section.  I'll keep you informed.  If you'd like to encourage me, I would love to hear it.  If you would like to criticize me, kindly keep your words to yourself.  And no, there will be no before and after swimsuit photos.

At this point in my life, I'm choosing to move it, and lose it.

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