Posted by: jawsome | October 23, 2008

So a lot of running blogs I read also follow Take it and run Thursday, which has readers contribute to weekly themes. This week’s topic is: Running and weight

Getting down to or maintaining your ideal running weight seems to be a common challenge for most runners.  And it’s time we take it on in the Lounge.  Share your tips of how you determined your perfect running weight and maintain it.  We are also really interested in your weight loss tips and stories.  Especially as we go into fall and winter (and the dreaded little candy bar time of the year), we would love to know how you get through temptations and other food challenges.

Weight, or more truly, fat, has always been a challenge for me. I was athletic in middle and high school, so I was always surrounded by thin, fit people. The problem was I always felt fat in comparison. Now I know that the media influences how we see ourselves, and almost all women look at food and weight in an unhealthy way.  I remember standing in front of a mirror in junior high next to one of my skinny friends, and noticing how my thighs touched each other all the way down. I have NEVER felt good in a swimsuit, and honestly don’t know if I ever will (unless I get back into therapy, which I probably should!)

Understand, when I was in high school my weight was “normal”, I just wasn’t happy with the way I looked. Then I got to college, and beer and pizza began their slow process of packing on the pounds.  By the time I finished college, I was 163lbs on a 5’7″ frame. I never felt fat in the sense of obesity or health, but I hated my body, clothes, shopping, and please please keep me away from beaches and bathing suits!  I have struggled with emotional eating my entire life, and it’s kind of a joke in our house when I bring home cheese and crackers: Matt’s like, “oh, had a hard day?”  I LOVE food, really, it is such an unhealthy attachment that I think of food sometimes as the only good thing in my day. Had a shitty day? Well at least you know the pizza is going to taste good!

When Matt and I went to High Sierra this year (see my first post) we felt very unhealthy. High Sierra is a bastion of vegan, yoga practicing, fit folks. We knew we needed a change. Here’s a before pic for me (I wish I had a bathing suit shot, but you know now about me and bathing suits!):

When I decided to start running and losing weight, about 3.5 months ago, I weighed 155lbs. My biggest challenge wasn’t junk food, it was portion control. I knew I needed to stay under 1500 calories to lose weight with enough speed to keep my motivation up.  That’s a lot less food than I was eating at the time! No more entire pizzas, or cleaning my plate at restaurants  😦 Instead, I try to keep each meal at 500 calories. With the help of a calorie book, I learned how to stay full with fewer calories. I can eat a whole sandwich at lunch, but it’s a tuna sandwich, not a grilled chicken, cheese and avocado.  It took a few weeks for my stomach to get used to the idea of not being stuffed, but now I can truly say I’m satisfied by what I eat. If I tried to eat a whole pizza like I used to, I would get sick.

So far I’ve lost 21lbs, and am down to 134lbs. My BMI is 21, which is in the middle range of healthy for my height. That’s less than I weighed in high school! Cutting calories along with running really is the key. It sounds really strange to me to say that I’m only 4lbs from my goal weight, but it’s true!  And for the first time ever, I might consider shopping for a bathing suit. I think I might need more of an attitude adjustment than a lower number on the scale for that one though!

Maintaining weight is going to be hard – when you’ve consistently seen the numbers on the scale dropping, it might be hard to stay in the same place. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’ll keep you posted!  The last thing I need is to go the other way with my weight – it would be nice to just stay healthy for a while!

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Responses

  1. i don’t think you look bad in the “before” picture. 🙂 but reading this makes me realize that if i keep running, i might actually go under 150 lbs which i’ve always *thought* was my goal. very interesting.


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