This is a cross post from a blog on another forum, but I thought I'd post here to share since some of this issues seem to be affecting others around here.
I've been stewing over this issue for some time now and decided it was time to blog and try to get some of this out.
For those in maintenance and recommitting the title may be meaningful for you too. I've had several other friends in a variety of forums touch on this issue in one way or another, so I know I'm not alone, nor is this unique.
For those of you not familiar, I'm what is now considered a veteran MFer. I hit my goal, or happy weight about in the fall of '07. I maintained within my goal range for close to year and then little by little the scale crept up. I'm now roughly 15-20 lbs above my happy weight and am slowly working my way down again.
So what happened? I got a bit cocky about my success and allowed myself to slip into old bad habits. Now I'm not a junk food person. My vice is carbs and sweets - bread, pasta, and portion control. I love fruit, but will overdo it. And ...of course there's the biggest problem - stress, comfort, emotional eating. Yes my life is chaotic (work, kids, home, husband's business etc) and it has been a stressful year and I've fallen back in to the habit of eating my way through it.
Now factor in the running. In the past year I've completed my first 1/2 marathon - and 3 more subsequently, my 3rd 5K, my 1st 10K and my first marathon. So you'd think with all of this running (I was up to 30-35 miles a week during my marathon training period) I wouldn't be gaining. Wrong. I was telling myself that with all of the calories I was burning running, I could eat more. Well running consumes roughly 100 calories per mile, so 1 5 mile run - 500 calories - well that doesn't justify the extra bread, bowl of ice cream or cookies.
So I after the marathon last month I gave myself some time to recover. My foot had a pretty bad blister and it took almost two weeks to completely heal over. Once recovered I restarted 5&1 and within a short time I could tell the plan was working.
I'm staying off the scale because I need to relearn to listen to my body and not obsess over numbers. I'm a very type A person and will overanalyze anything. I need to relearn hunger, real hunger and how much better I feel when I don't over eat..
But after some time off, I missed running. So I decided to restart slowly. 3 miles. Yikes, boy that was rough. I really had to fight to get through it. I just felt so fatigued. Well being on 5&1 my glycogen stores were pretty low, and just can't fuel the running. I tried a couple more times - same thing. Then I tried having an extra bar before a run - much better - now I could get back to 5 miles.
Which brings me to the balance issue and my problem. While I was in losing mode I was very focused on my eating habits. Not exercising. Now running is a priority for me. Not only do I feel better doing it, but it helps my asthma, a lot, and has proven to be the best stress reliever for me - which I need. I'm hoping to join a group of friends for the SF marathon at the end of july (we're running the half). and need to get back to my long runs.
So balancing the need to lose - the need to fuel the running has not been easy. Balancing healthy eating against obsessing is another challenge. I wish I could just relax about food, but I can't. As soon as I do, I overdo it. Where's the happy middle ground? I don't know. I'm still searching.
In the meantime it's one day at a time. Slowly my clothes are getting more comfortable again, and I'm working my way back into a regular running routine. I do find I have to add extra food before a run to get me through it (NOTE: I don't recommend this - stick to the plan as intended for best results).
My goal these days isn't just about the scale - it's balance. With food, with running, with life in general. Living in a state of constant chaos and stress is not good and doesn't promote balance. I can't change all of it, but I can change some of it. So I'll work with that.
And for those you wondering, yes the next curve ball has come (see previous blog for reference) and it is in the form of hiring a lawyer (the third one this year) and filing for due process against my school district for my son. But I've got a pretty good feeling that we'll score on this one - maybe even get a home run.
And with that.. one of my songs of the moment (see link)