Tuesday, October 5, 2010

one more thing...about weight.

Some irrational fears I'm having about weight:  I saw my ex a couple of times recently. On the first occasion he gave me a backhanded compliment ("You look really pretty when you're running a lot.")  On the second, he noticed I'd gotten some new jeans and said, "What, did you get some new jeans to fit your new ass?"  He hadn't seen me since about... August 1.

Now, this guy has been known to be critical and also sometimes a jerk, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt.  But also I hadn't really noticed any significant changes to my body, though I think my calf muscles are more pronounced and my thighs might be a bit slimmer--and I don't have a scale that works so I have no clue if I've lost weight or not.   I said something to Sam and he thinks I've gotten slimmer, too, though.  I have been feeling really good lately about how I look which is rare for me.  Clothes just seem to fit well.  So maybe there have been more changes than I've noticed.  Also I went shopping with one of my friends and she and I used to be the same size, and this time we weren't.

So now this part of me is terrified that if I stop running high-mileage I'm going to get chubby or even go back to where I was before (which I hadn't even realized was that different--but apparently it was?? if others are noticing..)  But I also can't realistically maintain this mileage all winter, can I?  Especially if my knees and hips are feeling it and I need to work on some speed training, perhaps at the expense of distance.

I don't want to turn into a blob this winter or even lose the muscle tone that I've gained.  I don't WANT an off-season.  I want to keep feeling confident about how I look, and I want to maintain this.  But I don't know how I can do that.  Or if I can.  Or if I should maintain this level of training or what.  I think I peaked around 40 miles/wk but I'm not sure (I didn't check the garmin data).  Once I hit 30 miles/wk I was eating massive amounts of food and that was when I started feeling pretty good, I think, appearance-wise... but it's hard to tell how much of it is actual changed appearance and how much of it is just my attitude influenced by running endorphins.

I trained for 10k distances after my couch to 5k out of fear of losing progress and/or getting chubby, then I trained for halfs at least in part out of fear of losing progress or getting chubby, and now I'm faced with the same thing with the marathon distance.  I wish I could remove myself from this superficialness and just focus on the TRAINING, but I have to be really honest, I want to look fit all winter too :\  Blah.


  1. I don't think you should worry too much about gaining weight—especially since if you end up restricting your diet during the "off-season" you might end up gaining as your body tries to compensate. As your mileage decreases, your food consumption will probably also decrease.

    As for turning into a blob this winter, I hear you. I'm a little worried about slacking off with running. But if you'd like to do a yoga class or attempt swimming (or one of those water running classes), let me know. I'd definitely be interested.

    (Side note: I hear you, though. I notice that my clothing fits a heck of a lot better now that I run more. I wouldn't worry about getting chubby, though; you're really fit!)

  2. Like you, my body has changed quite a lot through exercise. But as Jess said, I also noticed a significant drop in appetite with the drop in miles. I think it's important to have an off-season of a kind, but it doesn't have to mean no exercise. Could you start a cycle commute, more swimming, or even some gym workouts?

    As for the guy, they never know what to say. Even when they're *trying* to be nice ;-)

  3. Oh, I completely hear you. I fret about "slacking off" and gaining weight too, all the time. For me, it comes from once having been a size I didn't feel happy or attractive at, and then feeling both once I lost the weight; now that I'm here, I'm scared of ever being there again. Maybe it's the same for you?

    I think the only way to keep from driving yourself crazy is just to keep in mind that as long as you're being active on a regular basis, your body is humming along efficiently and burning more calories even in sedentary states than it would ordinarily. So even if your mileage drops over the winter, you could work in things like at-home aerobics or Pilates workouts. Or a regular gym thing, which is how I keep myself from just going into no-exercise-at-all hibernation during the winter months. Don't deny yourself good food or worry about it too much, just try to find little ways to keep moving.