Prior to this summer I was in maintenance mode for 2 years. Now I'm not even sure what to call the mode I'm in. Frustration mode? My running shorts don't fit right - but it's hard to create a calorie deficit when I need to fuel an 18 mile run - mode?
The first time I dug out my running shorts in May and they rode up my inner thighs while running, I knew I had a problem. That never happened before! I knew my weight was up a pound or 3 but I hadn't been too worried. Now clothes weren't fitting like they had last summer. Time to get serious.
Well... here we are at the end of summer and I'm up a few more pounds. Trust me, it's not muscle. (I'd love it if Spark could send out an APB that muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound weighs a pound. Muscle takes up less volume than fat. OK, off my soapbox).
I understand enough about weight loss and fat loss to know that I need to work harder to maintain my weight than a person who has never been heavier. Those fat cells are there. I accept that and for the most part, do work hard at it.
I also understand enough about nutrition. DH is a chef (which, yes is a blessing and a curse!) He is part of the farm to table movement. We eat real foods, we eat as much local food as possible. I am not afraid of healthy fat or dairy or whole grains. I don't need the Whole30 or Paleo diet. I eat very few processed foods. My problem is portion size and too much snacking out of boredom.
In June I focused on portion size. No seconds. No snacks after dinner. No change on the scale. Boo.
In July I focused on protein. Because that's what everyone says to do, right? I had been eating steel cut oats for breakfast for 2 + years. I swapped that out for a high protein meal: eggs & veggies or a protein shake. No change on the scale. Boo.
In August I decided to go back to what I know. Eat well. Listen to your body. And I'm up another 2 pounds. BOO! What's worse than the scale number is that I don't feel good about how I look right now.
As for fitness: I know I do too much steady state cardio for weight loss. I know that my body is used to running 20+ miles a week so that's what I need to do just to maintain. I know that I don't do enough ST. I know that I need to do more HIIT workouts and build more muscle.
But there are only so many hours in a day. I had been focusing on intervals during my swim and bike workouts to get it in that way. After the tri 2 weeks ago, I tried some Nike fuel workouts and then my shin started to hurt. The last time I had shin splints was 2 years ago when I did Jillian workouts.
Now is not the time to try new workouts or change my diet. I can do that in October. My priority is marathon training. Last week's 18 miler was so fun and so hard all at once.
We started around mile 2 of the marathon course and ran to mile 11 and then turned around. This is the part of the course that I am not as familiar with. On race day we will run on the streets of River Road Parkway. For the training run, we ran on the trails right down by the river. So much fun! I had a GU and washed my hands in the river :) Unfortunately, we didn't get going early enough in the day because of childcare so it got hot and we were running the last 6 over lunch time. yikes. Our pace suffered. And those numbers get in my head.
And now this week we get a heat wave. I know I've grown as a runner because I actually listened to logic. Sore shin + heat advisory = not a good time to run 20 miles. Instead of powering through and getting the miles in, we ran 10 and! I didn't feel like a failure for not doing 20. We still have plenty of time.
The best news is that my shin didn't bother me before, during or after yesterday's run. The bad news is that my pace was way way off again.
I can't struggle with the number on the scale AND the running numbers at the same time. It's too much negativity. I'm going to step away from the scale. Do what I know is right for my body. Focus on training. Eat like an athlete. Re-evaluate goals in mid-October.
And while the weight gain has gone straight to my mama gut and hips and thighs, it's nice to be surprised by how much I like a picture of my butt!
I can feel my daughter's happiness in this photo. And that's more important than anything else I just wrote.