Monday, October 21, 2013
I think one big reason why I haven't published a blog since March is from trying to be too much of a perfectionist about what I write. I feel like I have to have a newspaper-worthy article practically to post something. As I look forward to some new challenges, one thing I'm going to try to do (and I think I know one SparkFriend in particular who will very much appreciate this) is to just write something off-the-cuff at least every week, probably more often. That means just typing into the little blog page SparkPeople gives us and not sitting in front of a text editor or a word processor for several hours, eventually giving up. That means allowing some grammatical errors. And finally, that means actually communicating my thoughts a little bit more often, which will make me a bit more responsible for my actions in this long struggle to lose the excess pounds and become the person I want to be.
Yesterday I ran my third marathon, which certainly is a big deal. Just to make sure everyone knows how insane I am, I'm running my fourth in 12 DAYS in Indianapolis. Originally I had signed up for two so close together so I'd have a backup in case the first one went south, but the first one was fine and I still want to do the other. So I am. I'm taking very good care of myself in between. I'm actually following a 2-week schedule from seasoned veteran marathoner Hal Higdon for multiple races (if you are into that sort of thing, here's the page with the details...just scroll down to "Two weeks between": http://halhigdon.com/training/
But another blog about running isn't really my intent today. That just happens to be what's going on and what's on my mind. What I really want to talk about is weight loss.
I had a really good run with weight loss starting about a year ago lasting through this past spring. I dropped about 20 pounds and good lord did those 20 pounds make a huge amount of difference. Since April, though, I've gotten complacent with this plateau. I certainly didn't gain it all back, but I didn't lose anything more. And that's with usually 30-50 miles per week of running! I think that goes to show how weight loss involves not just physical activity but an entire lifestyle change. Somehow I had found a way to expend 5000-7000 calories a week and still maintain my weight without losing. That's a lot of eating and drinking.
I realized yesterday during my marathon that I was putting everything I had into that race, seriously everything, but my best was only a 79-second PR over my very first marathon three years ago. Over the course of over 4 hours and 45 minutes, I could only do 1 minute and 19 seconds better. Don't get me wrong - I had a GREAT race and I am really proud of the effort and consistency I put into it. However, I knew at that moment, somewhere around mile 22, exactly why my best was barely better instead of significantly better. I knew that all of those days I decided to eat something super-crappy or drink a bunch of beers with my friends were collecting their dues. I knew that if I really wanted to take my involvement in this hobby to the next level, I need to go back to the basics with diet. If I'm going to lose the next 20 pounds, I have to stop flying on auto-pilot at mealtime. Yes, the exercise has done me huge favors. It has probably saved my life, literally. But it isn't everything.