July and August Diet and Exercise Update
I’ve been absent from the blog lately, and there’s not really any good reason. I’ve been lazy I guess. Bad lazy blogger, bad! It’s been an okay time for my weight and the running has been going okay, though. I’ve got a lot of new data to show you, since I’ve been slacking off on the posts so much.
So the last couple of months has been a little… Rollercoastery. I’ve been baffled by the scale’s reluctance to budge, but understand when I realize that I have not been keeping track of my calories that much. I don’t have any fault with the giant hill at the end of the graph (vacation, it’ll do that), but in the middle, I just don’t know what was up. I was about on target to make no change at all before vacation rolled around.
The year-to-date graph looks a bit better, but it still shows the source of some frustration, starting around June and working it’s way through August. There isn’t really anything to do except keep on the path that I’ve been going on for the last couple years, and that is to keep track of the calories as well as I can, and make sure that I’m working at a calorie deficit as planned.
In the past year, I’ve been on the goal to lose 12 pounds, more because I wanted to see what it was like staying around this weight for a while, and partially so that I didn’t have to focus so much on my weight and not being hungry. I really want to get to a point in my life where I can eat on instinct and just count on my body to say when I’m done.
It’s pretty much a fact that when I’m on a weight loss stretch, I get hungry and just have to suck it up sometimes. People who don’t go on the caloric restriction diets because they just eat naturally or something just don’t understand that I am actually eating less food than they are, regularly, by a significant amount. If you’re 200 pounds, and you want to lose 2 pounds a week - a rate that is gradual and more likely to stick than higher numbers - you need to have a caloric deficit of 1000 calories a day. That means that you are only eating around 1500 calories. The recommended calories for a person who is of normal weight is 2000 calories. If I want to lose weight, I need to eat 25% less than a normal person. You’re starving your body, on purpose. You also need to eat the right food, because you are eating less of it you can’t just count on getting your vitamins and nutrients.
If you’re a person who hasn’t dieted like this before, imagine just skipping lunch every day. Nope, you don’t get lunch. You don’t get to have a big breakfast or dinner to make up for it, you just don’t get that much food anymore. Oh, and you normally eat two lunches just to stay the weight you are now. It’s a bit of a life change, and you’re bound to get a bit hungry.
Because I’ve been dieting so long, I learned to ignore the hunger, that just comes with the territory. I need to wean myself off of ignoring that somehow, while not eating too much again. Part of this will be choosing the right foods, but part of it will just be reteaching my mind how much food is needed for a hungry belly. It’s a whole new challenge.
Diet trouble is one thing, but I’ve been like a star on my exercise lately. It has been feeling great to run around, see myself make gradual improvements to time and make some big goals happen. Last post I reported that I signed up for the Minnesota Half Marathon after heat and humidity made the original half marathon that I signed up for shorten it’s course. I am happy to say that I finished both the restarted training and that race without any issues, and I either met or just barely missed my goal time, depending on how you count. I’m planning on posting a whole post outlining my experience with that first race, so I won’t talk about it much here.
I’m still well above on track for finishing my goal of 1200 miles in 2012, getting 27 miles or more in every week, which definitely will put me over the edge. Currently it looks like I’ll be crossing 1200 just before November. Here’s a snapshot by week of the year.
After the race, I started to just kind of try to work into a groove, keeping some of the training still going, and running a reasonable amount every week. I haven’t skipped that much. I did a bit less on the week that we went on vacation, but I was also enamored by the trails that I could run through the smoky mountains, so I ended up still doing 25 miles that week, with a bit more elevation than I normally would too.
One of the things that I have been actually surprised about since I started running is how much I actually want to run when I am in a different town or place. I’ve found that it’s a really fun time to find a place to run, and get a route planned out, and then just go see all of the new things that I have found. Trails have been prominent in the last couple of times that we took a little break, but I think that if we were going to an urban area I would try to run around a bit too. We really have some great running trails and routes here in the Twin Cities, but having new scenery makes things go that much faster.
I haven’t decided what I’m going to do for my next race yet. I think I might be wanting to scout out some 5ks and do some of them, because I think that I can beat my current PR by a few minutes. It feels okay to me to try to break the 25 minute barrier for getting through 5k, to get a little faster. It’s also a goal that’s not too much of a hurdle. Eventually I want to get a marathon done, but that seems like such a huge goal right now, and it’s a bit early to be planning out for marathon season in 2013 yet. It will also give me some impetus to increase my speed a little bit, which I think I can do. So it’s faster and shorter for the time being. If you want to track my training a bit more closely, I have a dailymile profile that I update rather regularly, which also has some nice routes that I’ve been running.