Friday, December 31, 2010

Feeling very American right now...

...because somehow I managed to go home for the holidays and pack on 5 lbs.  I have no idea how this happened, because honestly, I ate like crap while I was there (it's very had to be vegan around family, and I usually take my own groceries but this year I didn't)...but my version of "eating like crap" involved simply not eating enough (quantity), not eating enough (variety), and not seeing a green veggie in like 6 days.  Don't normal people get holiday fat from delicious cookies and sweets and cramming themselves full of holiday potluck food?  I guess I had one sweet thing the whole holiday season, and I was hungry most of the time.  I mean, here's a sample of what I ate:

  • salsa, corn chips, and refried beans -- mom had these gallon containers of frozen homemade garden salsa.  Honestly I ate way more salsa than I did chips, sometimes even attacking it with a spoon, so if I'm fat from chips I'd be kind of surprised.  In any case, I had salsa for a meal at least 3x.
  • coffee cake:  my mom made me this 8x8 coffeecake that was freaking delicious... this is the only holiday sweet I had while I was gone.  She said it didn't really have fat in it but it had a lot of white sugar and white flour.  (It was really amazing, with swirls of cinnamon and a crunchy cinnamon topping... oh man.)  Anyway I didn't eat the whole cake... I had probably like 4 pieces total.
  • quinoa salad:  for Christmas day mom made a quinoa salad with dried fruit and edamame.  It was really good and I ate a ton of it, but cmon, it's quinoa.  Also on christmas day I had some "plain" sweet corn and a bunch of butternut squash (garden things my aunt had frozen and thawed).  
  • On Christmas eve, I ate 5 dinner rolls, a bunch of pistachios, and some radishes (no other vegan options).
  • mom made a loaf of homemade cinnamon bread... no fat, but white flour (and so amazing).
  • black bean soup from Panera while I was checking my email
  • on my drive in each direction I wiped out a box of Bunny Grahams.  So sue me.  Am I fat from that??  I guess each box is about 900 calories, so maybe I AM fat from that.  I pretty much never sit there and eat 900 calories of something, unless it's a weak moment and I'm having at some potato chips.
  • I didn't eat anything other than coffee for breakfast.  On Christmas Eve I also skipped lunch.
So I mean, if I was going to gain weight I sure wish it could be from pigging out on things I wanted to eat instead of for the most part eating unhealthy scraps while others ate full meals.  I did drink so freaking much coffee though.  Right before my trip I was pretty much done with coffee... I successfully converted myself to either Macafe (roasted maca powder in hot water) or a small bit of coffee brewed with Teeccino.    But when I got home it started almost immediately, the coffee drinking.  If there is prepared coffee around, I have no self control.  My mom enables my dad really badly by putting coffee and a filter and water in the coffeepot so that all he has to do is press "on" whenever he wants a cup.  So basically, we finish a pot and then the pot is ready to make more, and my dad walks by and remembers there's coffee there and turns it on.  I had coffee all morning, coffee in the afternoon, coffee with and after dinner, coffee before bed.  I completely derailed.  Then at Christmas Eve I was really exhausted from family stress and I wanted to feel comfort so I had a couple of cups, and Christmas day I took my own thermos so I could have "good" coffee... once I killed that, I refilled it with some of the Folgers the rest of the family was drinking, so across 5 hours I had about 5 cups.  Usually when I'm drinking excess amounts of coffee though it tends to make me LOSE weight, especially if I'm having coffee as a meal (I know it's unhealthy so I try not to do it...but I know from times when I've been really high stress with no appetite and still drinking coffee... it's a nearly sure way to lose weight).  

So basically, I have no idea where these 5 lbs came from unless a) my theory holds true that when I'm eating less calories than my body needs, my body freaks out and starts to store them, or b) 2 boxes of bunny grahams and some coffee cake really did it, or c) my body freaks out when I dramatically change what it's used to.  

Since I've been back I've been trying to really eat healthy; I started juicing greens again, and I've made a couple of good meals (yesterday I made this okra stew over quinoa... it was really really amazing, and I don't like stew).  I had one feast-meal with my vegan friend who made this epic brunch-for-dinner with apple beer marinated tempeh strips, tofu scramble, biscuits and cashew gravy, and hash browns.  But I cut the junk for the most part and I'm back down to 1c of coffee or so per day, yet here I am lingering around 134 lbs when I was lingering around 129 (marathon weight was 123, but I was ok with 129 for the off-season).

I never used to be this weight-concerned.  Oddly, my neuroticism about it started after I lost marathon weight.  I mean, realizing I weighed only 123 was kind of amazing and now I'm obsessed with wanting to weigh numbers in the 120s instead of the 130s.  

As for running, while I was home I had 2 good runs; one was an 8x400m interval run, and the other was 6 miles in strong wind so my pace wasn't that great.  BUT I stuck with my runs while I was home--there wasn't that much snow for the first year in ages.  I did go cross country skiing a couple of times too.  So I wasn't being totally lazy.  Since I've been back is another matter... I ran on Saturday, drove back on Monday, did a cycling interval ride on Tuesday, and ran 4 on Thursday... so basically I had like 5 days off of running.  As I realized I was fat I also got depressed and skipped runs :( which is like the worst thing I could do to solve the fatness.  

The weather is going to be amazing on Saturday though (50 degrees in January!!) so I'm going to try to do a good long run then.  

Facts are facts and I guess I need to ramp my mileage back up if I don't want to be as fat as I am right now.  I was lurking around 22-25 miles/week before holiday week.  I need to update dailymile.


  1. Part of it might be water weight from increased sodium.

  2. Mate.. Don't feel all "American"! As Rose says, a weight gain like that over a short period is likely water. Unusual foods, alcohol(?), and especially sitting in a car for hours dehydrated by coffee -- that will all lead to water retention. I also "gain" 4-6lbs at certain points in my cycle, if that's a factor..

    As someone who has gone through this obsession with numbers myself, my advice is to either steer clear of the scales completely when your routine and eating is disrupted like this -- only weigh yourself when you know there aren't any interfering factors. OR, weigh yourself all the time, so that you get used to the ups and downs that happen with hormones, exercise, diet changes etc.

    I do like that you've put this on the blog though. It's become really unfashionable (at least in the healthy living community) to care about how much you weigh. Of course we shouldn't get too hung up on it, but it definitely plagues everyone at some point. Props for putting it out there.

    On a final positive note: nice work on the runs while you were home! Not only did you stick with them, you did repeats. I remember not so long ago when you were really struggling with motivation for speedwork. Boo-yah!