Monday, April 27, 2009

3 My Wake-Up Call + Getting To One's Ideal Racing Weight


Had a bit of a wake-up call today. Was packing for my trip earlier tonight, trying stuff on, etc., & guess what? Surprise, surprise! I couldn't fit into some of the clothing that I had no problem fitting into this past September (during the Hawaii trip). Uh, whooops.

What really got my attention was that it was my pants, & not my tops, that currently seem to be the primary issue in terms of fit.

As long as the pants zip, everything's cool. Needless to say, everything was not cool. ;-) Also, some items, while they could be zipped, looked more like sausage-casing than actual clothing items. Hahahaha.

And since I can't wear the same 2 pairs of jeans for an entire month of travel, it looks like I will have to unearth some items that I'm now somewhat begrudgingly admitting that I'm glad I didn't give away. Ugh.

While I'm not technically considered to be overweight & I genuinely am happy with my body in a general sense, it's a matter of relative consideration with regard to training & running performance. The blunt fact of the matter is this: There's no way getting around the fact that I've gained a bit of body fat & poundage (about 5-7 lbs.) since increasing my mileage over the past few months. As the mileage increased, so did the hunger; managing this was clearly a new experience for me, especially since I'd never really run that kind of weekly mileage before nor regularly completed long-distance runs past 10 miles until this January. However, the amount of food I was consuming was clearly disproportionate to the number of calories I was burning. Yes, experience is a great teacher. LOL.

Furthermore, if I want to get faster, one thing is clear: The extra chub has got to go. ;-)

Now, before some people decide to sound the alarms & go off on some "lecture circuit" tangent of their own, let me say this: Please be aware that I am referring to my own body & not other people's bodies, & also have an amply healthy sense of my own body image. Plus, I'm not referring to general weight loss, but rather body fat loss as it applies to training performance. Furthermore, even if I were to get really skinny, which I'm not about to do(!), this bod wouldn't be in any danger of losing any of its curves any time in the next millennium. That's just not physically possible. So it looks like my "badunkadunk" can rejoice in that fact. Hahaha.

Part of the problem, ironically enough, is that I spend a good bit of my time in workout gear. Can we say "streeeeeetchhhhhh" fabric? LOL. Even though they are body-conscious clothing, apparently that still didn't prevent me from losing sight of my body dimensions.

To be honest, I hadn't measured my body fat percentage (or weighed myself) that much in the last several months, which probably didn't help the scenario much either. I was wary of weighing myself too often, which was something I'd done much throughout a good deal of 2007 & the better part of 2008. Didn't want to repeat that mistake, but instead veered in the opposite direction, which obviously wasn't very helpful either. In order to find a better balance, I'm thinking that maybe taking measurements about 1-3 times per month is probably about the right amount for me, personally speaking. Not every week, which, for me, tends to leads towards too much counterproductive focus on metrics & numbers, but rather once at the beginning of the month, another done mid-month, & a final measurement done at the end of the month.

So, it looks like it's time to reset the dial again. It's no wonder I'm not clocking the times I used to do, aside from the other obvious training issues I've been facing lately. ;-)

Hawaii was really my benchmark, not only for balance between food consumption/nutrition & weekly running mileage, but also for getting closer to an ideal body fat percentage for training purposes. I was very close to my ideal training weight & had obtained the lowest body fat percentage since high school (when I used to run track & field).

Anyhow, I'm currently trying to redress this balance & am going to return to the effective eating practices [i.e., eyeballing meal & snack portions -- for lunch & dinner & not just during breakfast (which is more or less on autopilot these days), watching overall fat intake, maintaining dietary balance, limiting sugary treats to weekends or once a week, etc.] which worked for me during Hawaii, except this time try to relax a little bit more about the process. Even though I generally eat very healthfully, of course it's not just about what you eat, but also how much of it you are eating. ;-)

Speaking of which, here's a decent article which discusses 4 Ways to Reach Your Ideal Racing Weight. Hope it helps you. Enjoy!


Frenchie said...

Thanks for this post and article link. I am having the same issue right now. I think I need to start logging my food for a while to get a better idea of what I am eating and where/what I need to cut back. With starting back to running, I definitely have started eating more to make up for the extra expended energy, but I think I may be going a bit too far. LOL

Andrew is getting fit said...

Thanks for sharing that article. I know with my marathon training my weight has actually gone up not down much to my surprise.

cyberpenguin said...

Hi Frenchie & Andrew,

Thanks for your comments! Yes, that's very true! Aside from muscle gain, increasing one's training regimen definitely takes some "adjusting" in several respects ;-)

It's an interesting balancing act when one's running mileage changes & one's appetite not only keeps pace, but then soon overtakes it. ;-)

I am generally not a calorie-counter, but am nonetheless beginning to think that there might be some wisdom in evaluating my weekly mileage with respect to the amount of calories burned, in order to figure out what that equates to in terms of total weekly food consumption. :) To me, this seems a lot more manageable than trying to compute one's caloric intake/expenditure on a daily basis, which will very likely become tedious, potentially obsessive (!), & then shortly after, disregarded procedure. ;-0 Frankly, I don't have the patience for the minutiae of such a "finely tuned" daily activity, but wouldn't mind planning it on a weekly basis as a general guideline.

BTW, on a related note, if you'd like to get positive reinforcement/support to get back on track with your eating,
you're welcome to join our "Healthy Eating Initiative" over at You're also welcome to check out my healthy gourmet recipe blog, "Cook. Eat. Drink. Blog." for more healthy eating ideas, tips, & recipes!


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