Weighing in on Marathon Training

Something that I am concerned about while training for my second marathon is weight gain. I know, it sounds counterintuitive, but it’s not as uncommon as you might assume. Beth at Shut Up and Run wrote a really great post a while ago explaining all the different variables that can contribute to weight gain while preparing to run 26.2 miles.

When I registered for my first marathon I requested a size small shirt even though I was (and still am) a medium. I thought that if I got myself into good enough shape to run an entire marathon, then I would lose so much weight I would totally need a small – for sure!

As it turns out that was wishful thinking. I toed the start line at my heaviest EVER. I don’t want to be that girl (you know the one I’m talking about. She’s shallow and obsessed with her weight). I love exercise because of how it makes me feel (calm, invigorated, accomplished, proud), not because of how it makes me look. But as someone who intends to work in the health/ fitness/ weight loss field for the rest of my life, it would not serve my career (or wallet, or self-esteem) to go up two pant sizes (AGAIN).

While weight loss is definitely not on my goal list this summer, weight MAINTENANCE is going to be a huge priority. I made mistakes last time, and I am going to try my best not to be a repeater offender. My last go ’round was a free for all. I’d say to myself “You just ran twelve miles; you deserve some french fries.” While one order of fries is not going to kill anyone, repeatedly using this logic got me into trouble. 

For me, it is going to be all about self-monitoring. I plan on weighing myself everyday. This will prevent hopping on the scale one day and a jaw dropping number suddenly appearing. I’m also going to document every stinkin’ calorie I consume. This may seem excessive, but I know myself and I know that “intuitive eating” while my appetite is raging will not turn out well. I also plan on wearing an activity monitor daily (Fit Bit) to help determine how many calories my body really needs and how active I am in my normal daily life.

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I’ll go into more detail about these tools later- be excited!

Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual

I first came across Michael Pollan when he appeared on Oprah to talk about the documentary Food Inc. He was a consultant and narrator for the film. Once Oprah was over I found the documentary on Netflix and spent an unprecedented amount of time engrossed in my television.

Although I am vegetarian, (and he is not) a lot of the points made by Pollan resonated with me. (There was a lot of head nodding involved). I was pleasantly surprised when I happened across his latest (I believe) book Food Rules: An Eaters Manual. It contains sixty four “rules” designed to act as filters for the overly processed food products that Americans have come to rely on so heavily.

Here are some of my favorite rules:

  • Avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not. (Example: artificial sweeteners, or margarine)
  • Don’t ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap.
  • Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk. (These cereals are full of refined carbs and additives)
  • Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks. (Just not like Americans)
  • Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it.
  • Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.
  • Cook.

 

Lazy Dieter

The past two weeks have been really hard for me. I don’t want to sound like a whiny baby. Exams are always hard. They are hard on all college students. I know that I am not special.

What has me so frustrated is my lack of motivation. I feel sluggish and exhausted. I am not motivated to do much of anything, and in the middle of projects, exams, papers, and presentations the timing is terrible.

I slept for eleven hours last night, and woke up feeling groggy, and lazy. My large pumpkin coffee didn’t even help.

As always, I have a plan.

I think this may be diet related. For the rest of the month I will be keeping a thorough record of everything that I put in my mouth. Don’t worry. I won’t be boring you with the details, but you can expect some fun recipes!

If I am not feeling significantly better by the start of next semester, then I will see a nutritionist to get everything straightened out.