Monday, July 21, 2014

Time to Diet? Well, Sort Of...

I'm not unhappy with how I look - well, the exception being my stomach, but even at my lowest weight, I wasn't thrilled with it (it is obnoxiously big compared to the rest of me - and yes, I am calling a body part obnoxious because it didn't used to behave this way 20 years ago).  I have no idea what I weigh since I gave up weighing myself about three years ago, but I'm pretty pleased that I settled into a stable size; having success at weight maintenance was something that always, ALWAYS, eluded me, so I feel like a victor, truly.

But.  There's the matter of two half marathons in my not-so-distant future.  Two...and the second one is a really big deal.  It will most likely be the only time I'll run the Houston half marathon, and I'm running it with a group of really good friends.  I want to get to that start line healthy, injury-free, and ready to run a good race. 

I began thinking about how things went during the training season for my first half marathon back in 2010, and what's been different since.  Two big things came to mind:  One, I was coming off of training with Brad, so my body was much stronger, more muscular and more toned than it was during later training seasons.  The other thing was that I weighed less.  I was a faster runner, and it didn't seem quite as hard back then.  So of course I wonder if being lighter on my feet translates to having an easier time with running...and after my struggles with running during seasons past, I'm ready and willing to find out.

I've been working out with the weight machines at Planet Fitness for a couple of months now, and I can see a difference in my muscle tone.  I'm hoping that the legwork I'm doing will also show up in the form of better endurance when it comes to my longer runs.  So there's that.  Now, I need to see if I can get a little smaller via dieting...sort of.  I said I was done with dieting nearly three years ago, and I meant it.  There will be no weigh-ins, no self-flagellation, no massive restricting of food - in fact, I'm going to try for the most positive experience possible.  I'm sure you're thinking that this sounds all well and good, but will I actually lose weight?  I mean, look how hard it was for me back in 2008 and 2009...I was no speed demon when it came to getting the pounds off.  I don't have a huge plan other than to make some substitutions for some meals (like a little more protein at lunch instead of almonds and fruit), drink more water to fill me up (plus the extra hydration will be helpful with all the sweaty running I'm doing), limit my sweet treats to one per week (sigh...BIG sigh), and eat more salads.

Who knows if this is enough to see any changes.  Quite frankly, while I'm willing to do something to see if I can get a little lighter on my feet, I'm not willing to go on a diet diet.  Time will tell...

25 comments:

  1. Even if you have gained some pounds, you have maintained your fitness level and that's impressive! My Kinesiology student daughter always tells me that fitness and health are not a number. Sometimes the thinnest are the least healthy in terms of fitness. Your plan sounds workable and I look forward to reading about how it goes. You've always been an inspiration to me...way back in 2009 when I lost 92 pounds. You were my inspiration because of your ability to maintain...as I gained back every pound plus 1. Thank you for your level headed approach. You continue to inspire me and give me hope that I may one day run again. I think I won one of your give aways way back when...granola to Canada? Does that ring a bell? Hmmm...it was good!

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    1. I think you're correct on being a granola winner, back in 2011 - thanks for still reading! :)

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  2. I so understand your NOT wanting to diet, diet and I'm glad that you recognize just how awesome it is that you have maintained a size for so long.

    On the other hand, I also so understand you want to feel better and lighter when you race. The only way to do that is to BE lighter, of course. Weight most definitely is one of the biggest factors in pace. The rest of it is forcing the training: speed days, long run days, cross training etc. I've been complaining a lot (mentally anyway) about my current pacing but if I'm honest, I bet if I looked back at some old running logs I'd find that I'm probably running at the same pace I was last time I was this weight. So I should just shut up, really.

    I'm here for any type of support you need - even if you want an email accountability buddy. No judgement from me, just support if you want. I hope you find the perfect and magic combination to make this an amazing training season!

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    1. Well, you were my first online running accountabilibuddy, so of course I'm happy with your offer! :)

      The only thing I'm probably not going to emphasize with running this season is actual speedwork. Hills, yes - but speedwork? Nah.

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  3. I hear ya. Hauling around extra pounds on my bike since last summer is my wake up call. I'm going to try to make some little changes along with you.

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  4. @divad--just finished making a batch of Shelley's granola--it is GOOD!!

    Well, you know your blog was the inspiration to get me on a losing streak almost two years ago. Here's hoping you can inspire yourself to lose just a bit. It does seem that once you've gotten into that mode, its almost magical how it will continue for a while. I'll be interested to see how this goes for you. It sounds like you've got a really good plan!

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    1. Thanks for the granola love! I need to make a batch today. :)

      I'm hoping that getting into the swing of this will work - actually, I've been doing this for a couple of weeks now and feel like things are changing, so here's hoping, right?

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  5. Strength training definitely plays a big part in running. Last fall after I think 4 months of doing Insanity, I PR'd my 5k and I wasn't running any more to get there. I was also 15 pounds less too, which I agree, less weight means faster feet.

    Love your approach though - no self-flagellation!

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    1. I'm hoping the cross training plus getting lighter will make running easier - I don't have a ton of hope for a speedy race, but feeling better while I run? That's what I want.

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  6. I totally hear you sister! I have gained weight in the past months and I notice it effects my running. I have never been a fast runner but now I'm almost slower than when I first started running (and was lighter). Like you I won't diet anymore but something has to be done. But since it's vacation now I have made a deal with myself that I will watch my food intake and do more cross training when vacation is over. During my vacation I will keep running and walking though.

    You have my full support here and I know you will get to that starting line in very good health.

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  7. Sounds like no weigh-ins for you is a good plan. What with your PF workouts and running and adjusting your food a bit, you may see body changes more than weight changes. What is motivating you is awesome too! Just go with what feels right.

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    1. It's a different motivation than the last time I really tried to lose weight - this was not even in the remotest realm of possibilities back then!

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  8. I've been off-line for a few weeks with traveling and such, so I am treating myself to marathon blog reading over the next few days to catch up with everybody. It's fun to see what you've been up to - lotsa running, a great trip to NC and I *love* how the shawl turned out!

    Good luck on your summer fitness program - hope the non-diet diet gives you the results you're hoping for and that you head into half-marathon season feeling light on your feet and stronger!

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    1. Love your all-encompassing comment! :)

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  9. Yeah, I am hauling around some stress weight and I need to get it off. I just seem disinclined to actually do that hard work it needs.

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    1. ...and as we both know, it's hard work to really get it off. :(

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  10. it's funny how just a few pounds affect performance. And UG...for me...as I get older, the weight just doesn't shift that easily at all. Slow and steady wins the race I guess, but sigh... Have a wonderful week!!!!!

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    1. I hear ya on the weight not shifting easily...that's how it was for me six years ago, so I know it's not going to be easy now.

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  11. I am currently in training for my 2nd half marathon and about 20 pounds from my goal weight. Full disclosure: I'm a walker, not a runner, so I can't completely say I know how you feel but it's still a lot of miles on my feet. :) We trained last year and the race was in October and when it was over, I just kept training. My friends thought I was nuts but I had weight to lose when they didn't. The real reason I kept up with it was because I knew I was going to do it again this year and I didn't want to have to start over. My pace this year is much faster than last year and I've got a certain time in my head that I would like to see at the finish. And, if this last 20 fell off while training, I wouldn't be upset. I'm interested to see how you do with your non-diet dieting because I'm thinking I'm going to be walking the maintenance line soon and I'm getting tired of weighing and calorie counting. I'm not brave enough to stop it all together, but hopefully soon... Keep up the good work girl - I'm rooting for you!

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    1. Tammi, you are SO RIGHT on the miles on your feet, whether you're walking or running a half. Sounds like you didn't stop training because this has become part of your lifestyle, which is an excellent way to go into maintenance, with a regularly-established exercise routine already in place. Good luck - I'd love to hear more about your upcoming race!

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  12. Shelley, the one thing I know about you is that if you put your mind to it, you do it. So if you want to be more fit and lose some weight, I have absolutely no doubt you will succeed. Go for it!!

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